I wonder why so many of us are plagued with the eroding defect of procrastination?
I frequently read passages from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Adundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy and while all of her passages are good, some really cause words to press against my insides and compel me to write in exchange for my daily sanity. How often do I procrastinate and think I will do it later rather than seizing the moment of inspiration? And how often do I ever come back and do it later? Not very often. Procrastination is a corrosive thread that really has no place in and about a life of serenity. When I procrastinate, in my sub-conscious, all day I am focused on the thing I should have done, but didn’t do, whether I realize it or not. I am looking at the day with “glass-half-empty-glasses” focusing on lack rather than abundance. In her passage “Calling Forth Our Gifts”, Sarah explores the idea of procrastination in the context of choosing to pursue our gifts from Divine moments of inspiration and begins with the notion that we are all artists of our own life with the best of both worlds—the gift of “free will and the passion of serving.”
“The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birthgiver. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says ‘Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.’ And the artist either says, ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord,’ and willingly becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses.” -Madeleine L’Engle from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.
Sarah goes on to say,
“Whether or not we serve is entirely our choice. God’s first gift to us is free will. Perhaps one day we’ll realize that it’s not the will of God we need to fear as much as being left to our own deceits and devices.”
It takes great courage oftentimes to say “No” and being able to say “No” is an ability that when left without can make one very miserable. But where is that invisible line between “No” and “Yes”? There really isn’t a universal answer to that because the answer is so personal to each person. But let me ask a more fundamental question. How often do we say “No” to moments of Divine Inspiration? Do we say,
“Sorry, find someone else. And Spirit will. To be fair, sometimes we don’t literally use those words. Sometimes we say ‘Sorry, I just can’t get my act together right now. Come back later.’ So the Great Creator moves on until a willing artist with an open heart offers to become the creative conduit. This scenario goes a long way in explaining why you are heartbroken, bewildered, and furious when, after diddling around for years, someone else…introduces to the world a creative idea so similar to yours it makes you swoon. The bottom line is that the Work must be brought forth. If you don’t do it, someone else will. So when the great idea flashes across your mind surrounded by Light, pay attention! Once it exists in your mind, realize that other brain waves soon will be able to pick up the creative energy pattern if they are receptive. Think of your mind as a satellite dish. Creative celestial messages are continuously being transmitted. The frequency is jammed—privy only to your soul.”
It’s almost as if for that moment God chooses the person whose mind the Idea has entered. And then what do we do with that gift from there? Do we act on it? Or do we let the circumstances of our day dictate that we can’t act upon our moment of inspiration thereby making an unconscious choice to say “No”? Isn’t procrastination really a cleverly disguised form of saying “No”? Yet it is so baffling because we think we are just saying “No” for the moment when really, in our hearts, we know we won’t come back to it. Someone once told me that 99.9% of my decisions I wasn’t making. At first, I didn’t understand that and I was even more confused after he supported his point, but I have pondered that over the years letting the clarity I sought ruminate in my mind and today, I understand why this is a true statement. At the root of it lies procrastination!