Thursday, January 28, 2010

Excuses

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?

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I was so excited when I saw your post because I am doing the Breaking Free study right now as well with my church! Beth Moore is amazing and God is really using the study to change my life.

Deidre said...

Boy, do you know how to get in my business! LOL! I'm right there with you. I think the only other word that affects me like the "P" word is the "D" word - Discipline. Thanks for being so open and sharing. It lets me know that I'm not alone.

Tonya said...

Have you been inside my head lately?! ;) I have struggled w/procrastination my whole life and I'm so embarrassed by it. Thank you for being transparent and sharing your life!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Um, yeees. Which is why I'm doing the "No Other Gods" study by Kelly Minter right now at my ladies' Bible study. It was time to be real....

southerninspiration said...

oh dear.........caught red handed.....I am so guilty. I appreciate your honesty, my friend.

Suzanne

Dawn said...

sigh... just resting in your words... and the truth. thank you friend...

(and i love seeing your handwriting!)

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Thanks for sharing...That's another study to add to my list ;)

Tracy said...

Stepping on my toes, too. Although generally speaking, I love my time with the Lord, if I sense He's wants to work on me about an attitude, something I fear or a sin I'm not ready to confront, I can busy myself to beat the band! Anything to avoid the quieting of soul where His voice becomes so much clearer. Thanks for your honesty. So glad to know I'm not the only one.

By the way, I too am working through Breaking Free with my office Bible study group. It's a great study! We have two more chapters to go, and boy have we loved it (in a painful, growing sort of way)...

Blessings to you,
Tracy

The Scooper said...

Oh boy, that cuts right to the truth of the matter doesn't it? I am totally a procrastinator...and only recently have become woman enough to admit it. It's hard to be confronted with the truth about ourselves. I ask God to show me the depth of my sin but also the depth of his love and grace. I couldn't handle the former without the latter.

Southern Gal said...

Procrastinator is my middle name. And this makes me uncomfortable because I know it's true. I've got to pray about this.

Autumn Mist said...

This is truly bizarre as my new year's resolution is to stop procrastinating! Just don't ask me how I'm doing. Let's just say I don't think it's a coincidence that I've read this today! Thankyou so much.

artisticblend said...

Ouch! That does sting doesn't it?
I was having a similar conversation this morning with a friend about the evil "P" word. She said something very profound that I'd never really thought about before.
She said, "the more I focus on NOT procrastinating, the more I do it! I realized how right she was.
Now, one of my resolutions for 2010 was to make a more conscious effort to pray and read my bible more. That is now the first thing I do when I get up in the mornings.
And honestly, it has made a HUGE difference in my attitude throughout the day! If other things have to slip for that to happen, so be it.
Good luck and thank you for your honesty and encouragement. I enjoy your blog! :)

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