In this passage, the people of Israel were on the verge of entering the Promised Land. Fourteen months earlier, they were led out of captivity in Egypt into the wilderness of Sinai. God led them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God gave them the 10 commandments and the sacrificial system. Moses sent 12 spies on a reconnaissance mission to see what was ahead. But, when they came back, they had a majority report from 10 spies and a minority report from two. (It sounds like members of Congress or a church committee!) The 10 were overwhelmed by the obstacles: the strong, fortified cities and the large people. Only Caleb and Joshua focused on the possibilities and the opportunities!
The etymology of the word procrastination is fascinating. “Pro” means forward. “Cras” means tomorrow. Procrastination is putting off until tomorrow what we should do today. Mark Twain sums it up when he says, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow!”
The people of Israel procrastinated. Where are we procrastinating? Are you putting off an appointment with a doctor? A therapist? A physical trainer? Getting your finances in order?
A lot of us procrastinate in our relationship with God: “Someday, I will read the Bible from cover to cover. Someday, I will be more disciplined in my prayer life.” But we wake up “someday” and a DECADE has gone by … or two! We never started the relationship with God that we said we wanted!
Some people in the twin towers on 9/11 would give anything to have started a relationship with God sooner than they did. They didn’t realize that September 11, 2001 would be their last day on earth. What if today was our last day on earth? Would we be ready? Have we procrastinated in our relationship with God?
Select one or two of these Reflection Questions and write your responses in your journal or discuss them with a close friend or a small group:
- In what area of your life are you putting off until tomorrow, what God wants you to do…today?
- Where in your life are you leaving God “out of the equation?”
- When you face a challenge, do you tend to focus more on obstacles or opportunities?
- In what specific ways are you making small regular deposits in your relationship with God? Would you have a sufficient balance in your relational bank with God to make a large withdrawal in a crisis?