The day before yesterday, my closet collapsed. When we had our house renovated a decade ago, workers attached a thin piece of wood to the walls to support the bar and shelf in each closet. Obviously the way they connected the support wood to the closet walls (glue and the occasional thin nail) was woefully inadequate!
I’m not a handy person, and I don’t know how closets are meant to be built, but clearly something went wrong here and someone needs to fix it! In spite of my lack of ability, these kinds of jobs typically fall to me. It’s been a busy couple of days, and today it’s in my schedule to try to fix the closet.
So I decided to take a picture of the closet. And write a post on facebook. And update my blog. And when I was starting to run out of helpful procrastination ideas, the phone rang, and rang! The nurse came to check how I’m doing, and I seem to be doing well. We had a lovely chat. But now it’s afternoon and my closet still looks like it did the other day, with pants and sweaters stacked somewhat neatly on the floor, and everything else slumped over. Ugh.
So I think again about how to tackle the job, and the particular things I need to gather and do. I am thankful this didn’t happen last year, because I wouldn’t have been up to fixing it then. I’m not sure I’m up for fixing it now. I have such limited energy and strength.
What’s strange is how tired I am getting by thinking about little details like wondering how many screws I should put through the support wood into studs in the wall. And how long should they be? Oh yes, and I’ll have to take the battery out of the metronome so I can use it in the stud finder. Time for a cup of tea!
It occurs to me that today I’m exceptionally skilled at procrastinating. Now I think I should figure out why that is, and what my particular triggers are. I reflect on that a while. I’m tempted to sit here and reflect some more, and perhaps make up lists and draw diagrams.
But in the midst of all my fatigue and desire to sit (with my feet up to help reduce swelling) and sip my tea, there’s this growing thought within me – like the background music in a movie that suddenly catches my attention.
… and I want this job finished, and therefore I must start it! I’m feeling nervous though. What if I can’t do it? What if I do it wrong? What if I put all my energy into this and only get it partly done and then have no energy left for my kids tonight? What are we having for dinner?
There is one beautiful, inescapable thought that keeps growing in my heart and mind like Spring flowers.
I’ve been thinking a lot about time and ability this past year and a half or so. How much time do I have left? What quality of time will it be? How much can I accomplish during that time? How do I decide what to do? How do I know what I have energy / ability for? How do I set my priorities and boundaries and act accordingly? How do I live well?
These are not new questions for me, but now they are more urgent, more compelling. The glorious music swells until it drowns out almost all the other distractions.
I want to have my priorities straight. I want to know who I am, what I’m called to, and I want to live accordingly. My priorities are much more about relationships and much less about things, yet closets collapse and repairs must be attempted. Closets don’t matter much, but there is a time and a place for everything.
No more time for procrastination. Today.
There is one thing, dear reader, that I really want to say to you. The thought that has crystallized spectacularly when I’ve reflected on those compelling questions. The beautiful tune I keep hearing. The flowers in the Spring. The thing I really want you to know. The thing I will say today.
We are deeply loved. Whether we procrastinate or not, whether we accomplish great things or not, we are loved. Deeply. The one who made us knows us and loves us – yes, even with all of our imperfections. When things work out as we hoped they would, when it all comes crashing down, we are loved. Deeply loved.
The Living God knows us and loves us so much more than we can ever imagine. There is nothing we can do to gain his love because he already loves us completely, unconditionally. Even when we were enemies, Jesus lived and died and rose to life again to restore our relationship with God.
This is the foundation for living a life of love and faithfulness upon which I attempt to build. I hope that all my attempts won’t come crashing down, but even if they do, the foundation of God’s deep, strong love remains. Nothing can shake that. Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.
I hope for you – to know the deep, deep love of Jesus, to be in close relationship with him, to live your life well.
What is your foundation? Each one of us is created unique, special, with purpose. How are you called to live a life of faithfulness? What does that look like for you, with your own special set of gifts, talents, experiences, strengths, weaknesses? What’s holding you back?
Choose well! Go for it! Today.
Love as best as you can. Pray. Focus on what really matters. Don’t let fears or inadequacies hold you back. Ask for help. Even if it collapses and you don’t know how to fix it, don’t give up. Be encouraged. Receive love. Don’t put off telling people you love them. Don’t put off love. Don’t put off reconciliation. Do it now. Do what you can while you can. None of us knows how long we have. No more time for procrastination! Today!