Last night I attended my weekly Bible study. It's a great study--twenty to thirty lovely women studying Beth Moore's Breaking Free. It's wonderful. This week's study was about the obstacles that may need to be cleared before we can break free from captivity.
It's an important topic, and I enjoyed the conversation and really benefited from the lecture. I was about to leave for home, uplifted and encouraged, when I stopped to talk with one of the women in my small group. She and I had connected in a special way during the small group time, and we chatted a bit about that.
As we were talking, something I said prompted my friend to use a word that makes me really uncomfortable. It's a word that I avoid if at all possible. But we were being honest, so I had to admit that the word did in fact fit a problem I was describing. The word? Procrastination.
I don't want to associate with this word. I don't want to be associated with this word. Yet I am living according to this word. Just like a child who doesn't want to do his chores, I am putting off things that are unpleasant for me.
Of course, I always have extremely legitimate reasons for not getting around to the things that I don't want to do. I am busy, after all. Good heavens, I'm only human. Not even Wonder Woman could get around to everything on my To Do list. I'm doing my best here. Right?
Our conversation has replayed itself over and over in my head. My friend said, "You can keep yourself really busy with what's right in front of you, never at peace because there's always something that's hanging over your head." I nodded my assent; I knew exactly what she meant.
"So there's always something that needs immediate attention, always something that you have no choice but to do right away." Oh, yeah. I was really tracking with her at this point.
But then she said something that made my jaw drop. She looked me straight in the eye and said, "It's a way to avoid things. It's a way to avoid God."
Wait a minute. No! I never--but--huh? Avoid. . . are you kidding? What?
Oh, my. How did she know?
I've thought about her words over and over, and I know that--as hard as it may be for me to admit it--she speaks the truth. So many days I busy myself with this, that, and the other thing--always rushing, always striving, never quite catching up. And I tell myself that I would have liked to get around to whatever-it-is-that-I-should-have-been-doing, but that I just couldn't do it. Because I am busy, after all. Good heavens, I'm only human. Not even Wonder Woman could. . . wait. I've said that, haven't I?
I believe that God is loving and kind and gracious, always happy to help. My God is not a mean, angry god. I don't have to deal with a god who is impatient and irritable. Why would I avoid God? Why would I avoid the only One who can help me?
Maybe it's because God specializes in the truth. He knows the truth about me. When I'm spending time with him, I'm forced to admit the truth about myself. And that's not always pretty. But it is what I need.
This has given me a lot to think about. For now, I'm going to think while I take a good, hard look at my To-Do list. I have a feeling that there are some things that need to move to the top of the list, while others get crossed off for good.
What do you think? Have you ever avoided God?