Saturday, October 29, 2011

Procrastination

What if my procrastination led to the death of some of my friends and family? That is a question I had to deal with this week.

Procrastination is one of my sins. That's not saying that putting off things is sinful but in my case sometimes it is. There are many things I do not do when they need to be done. In my misplaced priorities I get certain things accomplished I want to do each day while other more important things are not.

On our car the brake rotors were warped and needed to be replaced. It was a job I was going to do with supervision. The weeks and months went by as I always hoped for a better or more convenient time. The brakes worked okay; just a rumbling stop sometimes.

Well last weekend two friends, my son and I were coming back from a retreat near Woodland Park. It was a 90 mile drive, mostly on the highway at 75 mph. After dropping the two friends off, we soon noticed something was wrong. There was a strange noise and then another. We investigated but couldn't find the source. I drove on and soon my brakes went spongy. I pulled over and we looked for fluid leaks or something else. I decided to drive home slowly. After about a mile there was a grinding noise. Now it was apparent: a wheel bearing on the front was bad. Bad is too mild a word. It was seized and had almost burned and ground the retaining bolt away. If that had happened, the wheel would have come off.

All of a sudden, there was an incredible sense of protection. This catastrophic failure could have happened at a much less convenient place or it could have happened at 75 miles an hour. It could have been a fatal accident.

A sense of chastisement came: my stupid procrastination! Look at what almost happened. Over and over in my mind I replayed what happened and what could have happened. The car was at the repair shop Monday and Tuesday; it gave me a lot of time to think.

I was let off the hook a little when the mechanic told me that the brake rotor problem probably didn't cause the bearing problem. But I also knew that if the brake job had been done sooner then maybe the bearing would have been replaced or at least lubed better.

So did I learn my lesson?  I will confess that I probably have not. Sure I will be more sensitive to brake issues in the future but my sin is much deeper than that.

I am learning something from the Samson Society meetings I go to. Here is the first step of the path I am learning to walk: ...I surrender to God in simple faith - making no promises but merely asking for His aid. So I know it will do no good to promise that I will never procrastinate again or to resolve to do better. I am a broken, messed up guy who needs God's help. I need a power that doesn't reside in me. I have no bootstraps to pull up.

I also have confessed my sin to other people. I admit that I need the strength of community and I want to break the power that secret sin has.

I also feel foolish. Isn't it ridiculous that I can't be better motivated or better organized so the to-do list gets done in a timely manner? That is where I need God's help. I need Him to help me do what is important. I need him and others to bring the resources that will help in that process. What I need is not more of me.

So this is my story and my confession. I am not victorious. I can't talk of the way I used to be. This is me right now. I trust God's grace and power will come into my life and make the changes that need to happen.

I would be glad to hear your input, especially if you have dealt with this sin yourself.

Philip

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