• Jill Jarrell Newsome

"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."

Mr. Wilson was a special friend to our family and a pillar of my church. One weekend, while I had company from out of town, God nudged me to send Mr. Wilson a card telling him how much I love and respect him. Now, I usually act on those nudges and I would this one. As soon as my company left. The following Monday I got a call that Mr. Wilson had died while raking his yard. I had not sent the letter.

I have always heard that tomorrow must be the longest day of the week - judging from all of the things that we will do then! We plan to do those things tomorrow but the Bible tells us that we do not know a thing about tomorrow. James 4: 14, "How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone." The first "tomorrow" thing that I think of is quitting sugar. Tomorrow is a good day for that. We wait to clean our house when it is convenient. We start a healthier lifestyle after the holidays. We start working out tomorrow. Taking the first step is the hardest. Baby steps are better than standing still. We may not be ready to exercise at the gym but we could take a walk today. We may not get the whole house clean but we could do one thing towards cleaning. If you are overwhelmed remember that God will help you. A German Proverb, "Begin to weave and God will give you the thread.”

I remember hearing people say that they would have their babies when they got the bigger house, the minivan, money in the bank, the raise and so on. I remember also hearing that there would never be a perfect time. Yes, there can be wrong times. I have known so many people who will not go on vacation until they retire. Then they have another excuse or they are sick. Sometimes they are not able to travel any more. They never take those trips. Dale Carnegie said, “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” Ecclesiastes 11: 4, "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done."

I am reminded of hearing the television as a little girl, (I know Mom, you did not watch soap operas!) saying, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." Those were the words that introduced "Days Of Our Lives." The dictionary defines procrastination as, "to delay or put off something until a later date, especially intentionally or habitually." I am not normally a procrastinator and I thought it was just an annoying habit. Scripture says procrastination can be a destructive way of life. Proverbs 18:9, "One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys." Procrastination never simplifies our lives even if we think so in the beginning. Procrastination complicates our lives and increases our stress.

The worst procrastination are those who intend to have a relationship with Jesus Christ later. They are waiting for that perfect season that will not come. They may not intend to delay for months or years but they are too busy with life right now. They will enjoy these years of youthfulness and commit to Jesus later. Like sands from an hourglass, time passes. Proverbs 24: 33-34, "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man." Charles Swindoll said, "The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate , but once you've made up your mind - jump in." Neglecting to make the most important decision of your life is the greatest burglar to joy!

Matthew 21: 30, "Then the father told the youngest, ‘You go!’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t." Did he deliberately break his word to his father or did he just procrastinate? I think he probably just never got around to it. In Luke we are told of a man who had wonderful plans for the sixty years of his life on this side but no plans for eternity! Luke 12: 21, "Yes, every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven." Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. This is the moment for faith and holy decisions!


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