Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The case against procrastination (Luke 9:62) with a story from the American Revolution and General Washington crossing the Delaware.

SCRIPTURE: Luke 9:62 (TM)
Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day."

An incident from the American Revolution illustrates what tragedy can result from procrastination. It is reported that Colonel Rahl, commander of the British troops in Trenton, New Jersey, was playing cards when a courier brought an urgent message stating that General George Washington was crossing the Delaware River. Rahl put the letter in his pocket and didn't bother to read it until the game was finished. Then, realizing the seriousness of the situation, he hurriedly tried to rally his men to meet the coming attack, but his procrastination was his undoing. He and many of his men were killed and the rest of the regiment were capture.
Nolbert Quayle said, "Only a few minutes' delay cost him his life, his honor, and the liberty of his soldiers. Earth's history is strewn with the wrecks of half-finished plans and unexecuted resolutions. 'Tomorrow' is the excuse of the lazy and refuge of the incompetent." 

We are all guilty of putting things off, after all “Tomorrow is only a day away.” But do those “tomorrows” ever get here? It is true that we all live busy lives. We have accumulated more tasks and responsibilities than we can count. Our lives are literally cluttered with so many unimportant and unnecessary things that the important matters are seldom if ever addressed. Or is this true only in my life?

It is painful to look back and see life’s pathway strung with heaps of unfinished business that is too late to handle now. The list includes phone calls never made, sympathy or get well cards never sent, small maintenance projects never tackled which are now big problems, and the list goes on. Procrastination is learned early and practiced until the last days of our life.

In most situations these delays really do not matter much, but then there are those bits of information that we should act upon immediate that cost us dearly much like the one mentioned in the story above. If the colonel would have only acted immediately the out come of the war might have been different. Who knows?

Such is the issues surrounding the Kingdom of God. The saddest news shared with a pastor is, “Oh, pastor, I will wait until tomorrow to make that decision. I’ve still got some living to do before I give myself over to Christ.” Too often the day of decision never arrives. Truly we each need to seize the day, act upon our hearts decision now and turn our lives over to the Lord.

Oh, by the way, that decision is not a once-in-a-life-time decision, but it is a daily and often is an hourly decision as one situation after another comes our way. As a great old gentleman use to say to me at First, Gainesville: “It is Seize the Moment, preacher, Seize the Moment.”

Nudge us hard when we start putting the important decisions off. Nudge us hard!

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