One of the most frustrating things about raising children would have to be the habits they learn from you. A few years ago, it seemed as if every time I reminded one of my children of something that needed to be done they would respond “I’ll do it tomorrow.” I reminded one that a project needed to be finished and he said, “I can do it tomorrow.” I asked my daughter if she had taken her vehicle to be serviced and she said, “I’ve got time tomorrow.” I even received the same response when I asked my then seven-year-old if he had done his home work for the week. It was absolutely frustrating…until my son asked me to play a game with him and my response was “Maybe tomorrow.”
Procrastination is not a new problem. In the eighth chapter of Exodus the second plague befalls Egypt, the frogs. Now this might not sound like a devastating act of God but Exodus tells us that there were so many frogs swarming the banks of the Nile, they came up into the houses and were found in ovens and even beds. The land of Egypt was overrun by frogs. When Pharaoh had enough, he called for Moses and begged that he pray to God to remove the frogs. Moses agrees and asks Pharaoh when he wants the frogs gone, to which Pharaoh replies, “Make it tomorrow.” Not today, but tomorrow.
The dictionary defines procrastination as “to postpone habitually.” Sometimes fear of the unknown or even a desire for the perfect conditions will motivate us to procrastinate. Many times it is simply laziness. What often happens though is that apathy soon follows and we seem to lose the zeal and zest for the moment and life and all of its opportunities to slip by. We live as though we can expect tomorrow to be better than today, but Proverbs 20:1 says “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.” We waste opportunities because we think we’ll have a better or easier shot tomorrow.
Life is a divine gift that should be lived in the moment to celebrate. The best time to get started working on our problems is now. Ephesians 5:16 says “make the most of every opportunity….” As the new year begins maybe we should try to live as if today is the only day we have. It may be the only opportunity to fix what is broken, to right what is wrong and to enjoy what God has given. One thing is for sure, if tomorrow ever got here, it would be the busiest day of the year.