We tell ourselves we’ll do it tomorrow
We all have times when we procrastinate. There is a story of a young monk who confessed to his elder that he was always struggling with procrastination. His elder told him it was his lack of faith which made it impossible for him to see God everywhere, and in all things, and for this reason he was careless and lazy about everything having to do with his salvation.
The holy Apostle Paul said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
It is in our weakness that we tend to put things off, especially when it comes to those things that pertain to our salvation. We know the importance of keeping a prayer rule, of spending time each day with the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and of being productive in our spiritual lives. We know the importance of frequent church attendance, yet put it off. Tomorrow, we tell ourselves, will be the day we will begin to take our spiritual life seriously. Tomorrow we will set our priorities, and keep to them. But tomorrow never comes.
God desires we struggle on a daily basis, ever making progress in our journey into His heart. We only need to make that first step, remembering “….I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Procrastination does not have to dominate our life, for in the Lord we can turn things around and make progress. Procrastination only has power over our lives if we let it. Taking steps to curb the habit of slothfulness must begin with a decision that today, with God’s help, will be the day that I leave laziness and procrastination aside, and move forward with action.
It is procrastination that often stands in the way of our combating habitual sins that keep us from making spiritual progress. Procrastination can keep us from reconciling with family members or friends who’ve been estranged for years. It can keep us from making a good confession, thus unburdening ourselves of guilt that has been weighing us down. Procrastination need not rule our lives.
Fear of failure can also be a cause for procrastination. We fear that we will not be good enough at a task at hand, so we put it off. This is often a common problem among young college students.
Finally, let me make it very clear that I am not addressing the form of procrastination caused by depression. I am referencing that which is caused by laziness.
Love in Christ,
Photo: Fisher Pond on Vashon Island.
About the author
Fr. Tryphon is the Abbot of the Monastery of the All-Merciful Saviour, which was established in 1986 by Archimandrite Dimitry (Egoroff) of blessed memory. The Monastery is under the omophore of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.