And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Thursday, April 16, 2009

When To-Do Lists Drive You to the Refrigerator

I had a hard time sticking to my boundaries yesterday. It was one of those days when I felt like just sitting by the fire with a bowl of ice cream in my lap and a book in my hand doing nothing. Now if this had been just a fluke day in my otherwise diligent life, it wouldn’t be a big deal. The problem is that I often feel like sitting in front of the fire doing nothing. I’m a lazy person by nature.

Now I suppose I could say, “Well, that’s just the way I am. Besides, there’s nothing that really needs to get done today.” But what if I were to say that day after day after day? What would my life look like?

I know what it would look like, because I’ve lived it. You might think it would be a fun, relaxing life, but it really isn’t. What it is is a series of last-minute “oh no – I need to get this done today!” moments. It’s a feeling of being overwhelmed and out-of-control—feeling like you’ll never catch up with life.

Does God really want me to live my life like this? I don’t think so. I know that my laziness keeps me from doing things He wants me to do, so I’m working on bringing this area of my life captive to Christ.

Instead of sitting all day by the fire yesterday, I did this. First, I pulled out my procrastination verses and prayed through them. Then I truth journaled about my list (It would be more fun sitting and eating by the fire all day than working, I don’t feel like working so I shouldn’t, idle time is the best time, etc.), and finally I broke my jobs into smaller more manageable tasks and got to work.

Now you might say, “That’s crazy—all that work just to make yourself work? Why not just force yourself to do it?” Here’s the answer. If I just force myself to do it (which I’m not good at anyway), I miss the opportunity to renew my mind and change the way I think about work.

It took a lot of effort yesterday to carry my thoughts captive to Christ through truth journaling and praying Scripture. It would have been much easier just to sit by the fire and eat ice cream with the plan of “doing better tomorrow.” It would have been much easier to just try and force myself to do the work. It would have been much easier to give up and say, “I’ll never change.”

But do I really want what’s easy? Or do I want to please God? I can’t do both at the same time in this situation.

If I continue to renew my mind when I feel like procrastinating, one day I’ll have victory over this area of my life. I’ll probably never be a “let’s get it done” sort of person, but as God changes the way I think about work, I'll actually be more inclined to "get it done now" rather than waiting until later.

One day my first reaction will be to do the list—not head for the refrigerator. Taking the time to renew my mind now will lead to a weight loss later - because I won’t be eating to procrastinate anymore.


Julie said...

Hi Barb!
Would you mind sharing your verses on procrastination with us? I would love to know them!


Unknown said...

Hi Julie - I would be glad to share them with you or anyone else that wants them. I actually have them all typed up so if you want to e-mail me at I can send them back to you as an attachment.