An acquaintance of mine once uttered this profound insight: “Procrastination is just an extreme form of patience, and patience is a good thing.”
By this standard, I’ve been extraordinarily patient for the last two weeks.
In fairness, I’ve had a number of distractions: graduating from college, packing, traveling to Uruguay, unpacking and playing Skyward Sword. Before arriving in Uruguay, I had ambitious plans to write at least half a dozen posts for TMTF to spare myself the stress of desperately composing a post at the last minute. Within five or ten minutes of actually arriving in Uruguay, my plans to work ahead on my blog had been forgotten.
Now at last I’m resuming my sensible plan of working out a tentative schedule for TMTF a week or so in advance. Since I’m trying to figure out a schedule for the blog, this seems like the perfect time to mention the most unexpected strategy I’ve discovered for keeping in touch with God: scheduling.
I believe Christians are supposed to keep in touch with the Lord through prayer and reading Scripture—not as a requirement for salvation but as a response to it. Jesus said something clever about branches not being able to bear fruit unless they remain in the vine, meaning his followers won’t be productive unless they remain in a consistent relationship with him.
Fact of Importance: Prayer and reading the Bible aren’t part of a system to earn God’s favor. Christians don’t have to earn anything. Studying Scripture and praying are simply the best way to keep in touch with God: to honor him, learn from him, be encouraged, be corrected and be ready for action.
The other day I was reminded of a simple and decidedly unspectacular method for being consistent in praying and reading the Bible. I speak, of course, of the fine art of scheduling.
The more I procrastinate, the less motivated I become to pray or read the Bible. If I choose not to procrastinate—in other words, if I choose to pray and study Scripture early in the day while I’m refreshed from a night’s sleep and fueled by coffee—I’m able to face the rest of the day with greater motivation, enthusiasm and confidence.
(This also proves the potential spiritual benefits of coffee.)
Scheduling isn’t an impressive strategy, but it’s done more to help my relationship with God than almost anything else.
Are you a “patient” person? What strategies help you get things done? Let us know in the comments!