'Tis the season for procrastination

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It happens a fair amount in December, and probably reaches its peak in the week between Christmas and the new year: we assure ourselves of all the things we will do once January begins - reverse the Christmas excesses, revive last year's undertakings, restore the things that are broken. We will begin again, again. We will make everything new, tomorrow.

The turn of the year - like a birthday or other significant anniversary - can be an appropriate time for review and reflection, for the making or making fresh of a covenant with the Lord. Such times can be helpful waymarkers in our pilgrimage, and it is not wrong to harness the sense of significance that such occasions present.

But we ought to make sure that such occasions do not become for us excuses, a means of assuaging our consciences by the promise that we will reform another time. Extravagant promises for tomorrow are worth nothing compared with definite obedience today. If something ought to be done, then it ought to be done now, and not postponed until tomorrow. Perhaps you are intending to begin a Scripture reading programme on the first day of January (perhaps one of those that will, you have been assured, see you read the whole Bible seven times over the course of the coming twelvemonth). Wonderful, but have you read and fed upon a verse or two today, or have you told yourself that you will get cracking in a couple of days time? Perhaps you have promised yourself that you will invest more in your wife and children, show greater measures of self-control with regard to particular appetites, embrace more conscientiously particular duties. All well and good, but if a task is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth starting, it is worth finishing. And if it is right, it ought to be begun without delay.

By all means let the first day of the year be a day of renewed vows and reinvigorated intentions. But do not let it become an excuse for procrastination, a way to put off until tomorrow what ought to be done or begun today.
Posted December 30, 2013 @ 7:17 AM by Jeremy Walker

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