Have we been piling up tasks for “later”, assuming later actually belongs to us? Have you tricked yourself into believing one day you’re going to ‘feel like it’ more than you do today, and until that day comes, you’ll just delay.
I’ll say those things later.
I’ll take care of that later.
I’ll get that done later.
I’ll get started on this later.
I’ll make time for that later.
But “later” is not yours to fill. “Later” is not even in the offering at this point. You have today. You have right now. This is what you have been given, and when God gives you something it is with an expectation that you will be using it.
Remember the story Jesus told about the boss who was going away and left 3 of his workers with a measure of money? It’s found in Matthew 25: 14-30 and we call it the ‘Parable of Talents’.
Jesus says, “a man is going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master … I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant!’
Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”
Jesus isn’t talking to us about money, he’s talking to us about our lives! This is about the time we have been given, the energy we have, all we can do with what he has already invested in us. And for those of us who are putting it away and not using it, fearful we won’t get it right, I assure you of this … IF YOU’RE DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT, YOU’RE NOT GETTING IT RIGHT!
If you’re just watching the dishes pile up, you’re not getting it right.
If you’re just watching the laundry take over your entire bedroom, you’re not getting it right.
If you’re just watching your weight go up, and your debt pile up, and your work build up, and your worry work up, you’re not getting it right.
God has given you this day of life, and he expects you to do something with it. The time in this day was given with an expectation that you would invest the time and have something to show for it. When God comes back around at the end of this day to check on what you did with what he has given you, what will you have to show him? Will you have even a little progress to show? Will he know you tried? Will he see you made an effort? Or will he see that you tucked away what you could have used today and saved it back for later?
Remember Jesus said, “to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given.” This is why energy builds. When you use today’s energy to show up and do what needs to be done, you wake up the next day with a fresh supply of energy plus a little more. You have been given MORE. When you see someone who abounds with energy, I would bet that is someone who has been faithful with energy when they only had a little, and it has grown like an investment. When we drag butt one day, we drag butt even more the next day. And this will continue until something changes. The something that must change is what you are doing with what you have been given.
But Jesus warns, “for those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” When you do nothing, you feel even less like doing anything. Yip, we were warned.
God has given you something here in this day, now DO SOMETHING WITH IT. I mean really, what are you saving up your energy for? Why are you holding back for some future imaginary point in your life where you will show up in full force?
Let me tell you something, while you hold back, things are only building up. You are building up overwhelm. You are building up pressure. You are building up tall walls that close you in and leave you feeling stuck. And you’re doing it right now as you assume you will do something about it “later”.
You know what I’ve learned? I can’t be trusted with later! The moment I dismiss an action I could take now with the assumption I will do it later, I have diminished my odds of ever getting started. Are you the same way? When I delay, I have even less and less motivation to do what needs to be done. And guess what happens? Then it just starts piling up. The hole is dug deeper. The overwhelm grows. And then we feel stuck.
All this month, I’ve been teaching a series called “STRONG” to the 500 women I mentor in BIG Life Mentoring. Each week I have given them a “Strong Challenge.” A challenge I know will stretch them to break bad habits and create good habits. This week’s Strong Challenge is NO PROCRASTINATING.
I’ve taught them to catch themselves when they begin to tell themselves “later”, and immediately flip it to “no, now.” When you see something that needs to be done, you quickly access if there’s anything you could do about it right now. If there is, then you get going. I’m telling you, my phone has been blowing up this week with reports of so much being accomplished by these women who’s circumstances haven’t changed, they just changed their response to those circumstances.
When we use the time and energy we have been given, we not only make progress, but we start building more! Jesus has the reward of MORE to offer, but he only offers it to those who have been faithful with what they can do now.
Proverbs 27:1 “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.”
You think you have tomorrow, but have you ever been promised tomorrow? Have you been guaranteed later? No you haven’t. You have no idea if tomorrow will come, and if it does come, you don’t know what it will bring. But look around, you see what you have today. You are expected to do something with this! The Master will return and want an account of how you used your time and how you invested your energy. Don’t be coming back with “Master, I was afraid, so I didn’t do anything.”
Ecclesiastes 11:4 “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. Let me put that into words you can understand. The girl who waits for the perfect time to get started, will never get started. The girl who looks for excuses will only find excuses. The girl who counts on later will have nothing to show for all she was given today. And let me tell you where that leads. Actually, let the Bible tell you where that leads. Proverbs 20:4 “Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.”
The right season is today. The wrong season is later. If you’re too lazy to do it today, you will have nothing to show for today. You will be lacking. You will be living less than God designed you to live. You will be wasting the potential placed within you by a loving Creator who has good, good plans for you.
And let me be clear, YOU DON’T WANT THAT!
So, join the BIG Life girls on the ‘No Procrastinating Challenge.’ When you catch yourself saying ‘later’, remember you can’t be trusted with later. Later means very unlikely. Later creates overwhelm. Later builds stress. Later delivers regret. The enemy plays in your later. And later disappoints the one who gave you NOW.
Trade your ‘later’ for ‘no, now’.
No, I won’t trick myself into believing I will do it later. I will do this now!
At the end of your days you will have so much to show the one who gave you those days. Your account will be great. And how will he respond? “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you more. Let’s celebrate together!”
Imagine that, God wants to give you more energy. More strength. More passion. More impact. More progress. More return. More time. And he wants to celebrate with you every time you handle it well! Today, you handle it well. Not later … NOW!