Pushing Back On Procrastination

A few months ago, I noticed that the lining of our shower curtain was developing some mildew on the bottom. As the weeks went on, the mildew continued to grow and soon enough the shower curtain was pretty much covered. What did we do about it? NOTHING. Every time I stepped into the shower instead of enjoying the chance to be refreshed and cleansed, all I saw was the growing fungi invading my shower, yet I just sat back and watched it grow.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I resolved that this couldn’t last one more day, so I went to the store and for $5.00 I purchased a new liner. Within five minutes of walking into my apartment, the old liner was out and new liner was perfectly in place.

$5.00 and 5 minutes. That was all it took. Afterwards, it was as if the whole bathroom had been transformed and the shower was once again a relaxing haven.

Why had I been putting it off for so long?

Maybe it’s just me, but this pattern isn’t just with my cleaning. I tend to put things off because I don’t want to deal with them, but the longer I wait, the more it grows, and the harder it is to actually face them. In my life I see myself taking this approach in all kinds of areas–relationships, forgiveness, and even my prayer life. Thinking things like:

“I really need to talk to this person about how I feel, but now isn’t a good time…I’ll do it next time I see them.”

“My heart is plagued with unforgiveness, but I’ll tackle that in a few week when things aren’t so crazy.”

“It’s been months since I’ve had some quality time praying and reading God’s word, but I want to wait until I have a good hour so I can really focus.”

I find myself waiting for the “perfect time,” that never seems to come. The longer I put things off, the harder it is to address them. Sometimes taking small steps towards facing the things I’m avoiding can be a great approach. Whether it’s e-mailing a friend to set up a time to talk instead of waiting for the “right time;” opening up to someone about my unforgiveness so they can help me; or beginning to pray just three minutes a day instead of waiting for the hour when I have no distractions…is it ever easy to find an hour in the day with no distractions? It’s possible to start with simple, manageable ways to slowly begin tackling the things we try so hard avoid.

The shower curtain was one small part of a growing mess in our apartment, but once I finally took the initiative to address it, I found myself more willing to tackle bigger projects like messy closets, disorganized cupboards, and piles of mail that I never wanted to sort.

Today if you find yourself putting something off like relationships, forgiveness, faith, or even a shower curtain full of fungus, try thinking of one simple step you can take towards slowly addressing whatever you’re avoiding.

When I feel plagued by procrastination or avoidance there is such comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. Whatever mountain we’re putting off, God is ready and willing to take our hand and lead us through. Don’t let your heart be discouraged, but be still and rest calmly in His rich mercy.

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
Isaiah 41:13