Stop Procrastinating Now
By Whitney Hopler
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” – Proverbs 27:1 NIV
My Nana and Grandpa often talked about traveling internationally together someday. However, they considered it impractical and kept postponing the trips they had planned for many years. They finally purchased tickets for a journey to Europe after Grandpa retired, hoping it would be the first of many worldwide adventures together. Unfortunately, Grandpa passed away suddenly before the trip. Nana grieved the loss of her husband and their shared dream. Then she emerged from her grief with the determination to see the world herself, without procrastinating any longer. She was able to visit many nations once she overcame procrastination and took advantage of opportunities God gave her to act.
What are your dreams for the future? Each of us has dreams stirring in our souls – earning a degree, becoming a parent, starting a business or volunteer project, going on a pilgrimage, and much more. These are the goals that we sense God leading us to achieve. We often think about them with excitement as we envision the day when we can finally make them a reality. However, we fall into the trap of procrastination too often, delaying action on these cherished goals. As a result, we unnecessarily miss out on valuable opportunities to use our time well and accomplish God’s purposes in our lives.
The truth is, our major goals are too significant to be shelved for a vague and uncertain “someday.” The potential God-given opportunities we might lose due to procrastination hold tremendous value. If you sense God leading you to do something important, don’t wait for that elusive “someday.” Stop procrastinating, and take action now! Proverbs 77:1 points out that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so there are no guarantees that you can still do what you hope to do later. James 4:13-15 also describes the futility of putting off something important.: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”
All the time you have for certain is right now. 2 Corinthians 6:2 reveals that “now is the day of God’s favor”. It’s vital to use God’s gift of the present time to the fullest. Ephesians 5:15-17 exhorts: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
Here are some questions that can help you overcome procrastination. Consider these questions during prayer and meditation and ask the Holy Spirit to help you move forward with what God wants you to do:
-What are the specific goals that you sense God is leading you to pursue?
-Why have you been procrastinating on taking action to accomplish some of those goals? Are those reasons valid or simply excuses?
-What fears, doubts, or distractions are standing in the way of you pursuing those goals, and how can you ask God to help you move forward?
-How can you break down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks? What specific steps can you take today to move closer to your goals?
-Who can you reach out to for support or accountability as you work toward your goals?
-What spiritual practices can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals, even when you encounter challenges or setbacks?
-How can you celebrate your progress along the way with God?
Wonderful heavenly Father, please grant me the strength to overcome procrastination. I confess that at times, I haven’t always prioritized taking action on what I sense you are leading me to do. Forgive me, please. Wash away my fears, doubts, and distractions. Give me fresh motivation to pursue the goals you have placed in my heart. Gracious Father, please empower me through your Holy Spirit to achieve the goals you want me to pursue. Fill me with courage and strengthen me to persevere as I work toward those goals. May I no longer be held back by procrastination, but instead, may I use my time wisely and achieve everything that’s important for me to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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Whitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.
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Originally published Thursday, 10 August 2023.