The Things We Put Off
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:7 (NIV)
I took two weeks off work with my recent knee surgery and when I got back to one of my offices, there was a wheelchair at my desk where my usual chair should have been. Decorated for Christmas, that wheelchair was a teasing reminder of my age and immobility. You are getting old. It was funny and I appreciated the good-natured prank that it was. The idea didn’t catch me off guard though. It’s something I’ve been thinking about recently. I’m not old. Elderly is anyone 10 years older than me. I’m not getting any younger though. When you’re 22, it seems you have forever to do what you want in life. You do whatever you desire today because you know you’ve got unlimited tomorrows to do the things you should do.
I certainly did this in my addiction. Every time I used, it was the last bottle of pills. I’m going to get sober tomorrow. Next year by this time, I’ll be celebrating a year of recovery. Today though, I need my pills – one last time. I continually put off until tomorrow the things I should have been doing today. I did this for years until I built a life around my addiction. By that time, change was tremendously difficult and painful.
Now, in recovery, I’m still working on this idea – If there are things I want to do in life, today is the day. I don’t have unlimited tomorrows. This is the message I hear in today’s passage. In it, Peter reminded us that we don’t have forever on this Earth. Our time is finite. If we want our lives to go in a certain direction, we must turn that way today. I’ll do it tomorrow is not a plan. I’ll do it tomorrow is choosing inaction and failure.
If I want sobriety and recovery, I must do today what it takes to move in that direction. If I want to get in shape, I must start eating healthy and exercising today. Likewise, if I want to be spiritually healthy, experiencing the life, joy, and peace for which I was made, then today, I must begin purposefully pointing my life at God. Daily, I must read, pray, and meditate. I must go to God daily asking what he wants me to abandon and what he wants me to embrace. Then, I must do it – today.
I’ll do it tomorrow, is the battle cry of failure. We don’t have forever. Our time is finite. If we truly want something in life, then we must begin pursuing it here and now.