Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Procrastination As A Form Of Art

How many of us are in the habit of procrastinating on a regular basis? It's a question I ponder as I review my "to do" list that I made at 4 am this morning. I guess I was a lot more ambitious when I got up than I became later in the day. Oh, there are items that I accomplished, that's not the problem. My problem remains one of not getting everything done that I would like. During my years in seminary we had a class entitled "Time Management For Ministers." One of the object lessons was to write down everything we were doing on an hourly basis, make lists and check them, schedule our time so that it would be put to the best use. At the end of each week we did intensive group analysis of how each of us had fared in the task. I did really well at keeping track of what I was doing and when I was doing it, but failed miserably when looking back at the goals I had set and the things I wanted to get done. They just didn't all "happen," the same way that they didn't all "happen" today. One of my favorite(and most respected)professors, Dick Murray, on campus at SMU(Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas)taught me a very special lesson about how to "forgive" ourselves for being human. "God knows you're human," he would say, "you're the only one that doesn't seem to understand that." I think it took a lot of years(20, is that a lot?)for me to come to grips with the intent of the lesson. It goes something like this: If we can't accept forgiveness for our own failings and shortcomings, how can we ever forgive others for theirs? And then it follows that if we can't trust in God's forgiveness, if we can't give to ourselves and others that element of comfort, then our system of Judeo\Christian belief won't stand the test of truth. So, for today, I can not only find that comfort for me, but I can also offer it to you, with complete assurance that we can, and will be, forgiven when we trust in God and His word. I guess more than anything I just needed to tap it all out here so that I could read it and "learn" it again! It's never too late to start, and even the longest of journies begins with the first step. To my classmates and colleagues gathering this week in Dallas, "I wish I were with you once again, the fun, the fellowship, the faith that we learn to walk in, all a vivid work of art within the confines of my mind. Next year, write this down, I will be there at the tower for the reunion!" No procrastination will be tolerated! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

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