A preacher once attended a big convention and heard a message in which the speaker used the word “procrastination” several times. So fascinated by the word, a new word to the novice, he determined then and there to use it in one of his upcoming sermons. He did just that, incorporating the word “procrastination” three times in one of his messages. A lady approached him after the service and asked him just what that word meant. Trying to conceal the fact that he really did not know, the preacher finally said, “Why, don’t you know? That’s one of the major Baptist doctrines!”
Yes, sometimes one might conclude that “procrastination” is one of the major Baptist doctrines; at least, the way some of us practice it!
We may often preach “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” but then, do we practice it?
“He was going to be all that a mortal could be; no one should be kinder or braver than he…. tomorrow; A friend who was troubled and weary he knew, who’d be glad of a lift and who needed it, too; On him he would call and see what he could do…tomorrow. Each morning he stacked up the letters he’d write and thought of the folks he would fill with delight…tomorrow. It was too bad; indeed, he was busy today, and hadn’t a minute to stop on his way: ‘More time I’ll have to give others,’ he’d say…tomorrow. The greatest of workers this man would have been; the world would have known him had he ever seen…tomorrow. But the fact is he died, and he faded from view, and all that he left here when living was through was a mountain of things he intended to do…tomorrow.” (anon.)
Therefore, we should prize the time that we have: “And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.” (Romans 13:11,12)
“Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:13, 14)
The Psalmist adds his insights into the brevity of life and the elusiveness of opportunities: “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am; behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth, and mine age is as nothing before Thee….” (Ps. 39:4,5)
“Forenoon and afternoon and night, and day is gone; so short a span of time there is twixt dawn and evening song. Youth, middle-life and old age, and life is past; so live each day that God shall say, ‘Well done,’ at last.”
“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” (Prov. 27:1)
D.L. Moody, the evangelist, told a story about a minister who was working on a message about the urgency of accepting Christ without delay. As he was preparing the sermon the pastor fell asleep and dreamed he overheard a conversation of a bunch of demons in huddle as they were trying to come up with the best way to keep people on earth from accepting God’s plan of salvation. One of the evil spirits said, “Let’s tell people the Bible isn’t so and that it is not God’s Word and cannot be trusted,” but this idea was discarded as insufficient. Another one said, “Let’s tell then that God does not exist and that Jesus was just another good man, a prophet of God but not Messiah,” but this idea got nowhere with the devils. Finally, a third demon said, “Let’s tell them there is a God, a Savior and a heaven and a hell, but let’s assure them that they’ve got all the time in the world to be saved; we only need to convince them to put off making the decision now.” “That’s it,” the other demons shouted gleefully. (copied)
We may not have the opportunity tomorrow. Peter was wisely asked to “come to Joppa without delay” when Dorcas lay dead. When on a mission for a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s servant, having found the perfect match of God’s making, was implored to wait with Rebekah’s family for a few days before beginning his homeward journey with the bride to be. He refused to be hindered for he had been “in the way” and God had led him. (Gen.24:55,56). He dare not put off another day what God had definitely led him in doing. That day was the day of opportunity for Abraham’s servant and he dare not waste it!
So, press on. Do today what you can do, refraining to put off until tomorrow what could be done today. Reject the “Major Baptist doctrine of procrastination” and get it done today.
I read a testimony of a well-known Christian leader of yesteryear who was impressed to go talk with the then head coach of a winning west coast football team. But, the campus leader reasoned, “His views are contrary to everything we stand for,” and thus, he was intimidated about talking to the famous coach. Four years passed and the Christian leader hosted a party at his home for the football team, players and coaches. He would later testify, “Do you know who the last to leave was? The coach. He was hungry for the Word of God, so I asked him if he would like to come to church with me to which he replied, ‘I’d love to go to church with you.’ I told him as soon as I got back from a pending out of town trip, I would call him and make the arrangements. ‘He is going to become a Christian,’ I thought. But, the next day, having taken off on my trip, when I got off the plane there was the headline on all the papers, ‘Coach ___ _______Died of a Heart Attack Last Night.’ “I was devastated and to this moment God has used that to help me when I’m tempted to procrastinate.” (WorldChangers)