I know that I’m not the only one out there who struggles with laziness and procrastination. Actually, I’m pretty sure that most of the people who stumble across this blog have, at one point or another, dealt with wasting time in some way, shape, or form. During undergrad, I developed kind of a rigid study system that allowed me to get my work done – early. I’d finish a paper a week before it was due, read every single assignment for class, etc.
But now that I’m home and there’s no pressure of a “class” or “performing” for a grade, my study for the GRE test has become… well… lax. I’m supposed to be studying vocabulary like crazy and brushing up on my math skills, while reading some Norton Anthologies for my subject test in November. But I’ll be honest – some days I don’t even touch my Nortons or look over any math. Heck, I’m lucky if I peruse the vocab section or go through my flash cards once! I know, what a confession. When I was in undergrad and thought of my study schedule for this summer, I envisioned waking up at 9am, studying from 11 – 3pm and reading for a few hours after that.
Now that I’m thinking back on that original plan, it doesn’t seem unrealistic or foolish. The problem with this plan? It’s me. I am the lazy one. I get bored, unchallenged, and unmotivated by the 500+ vocab words that I need to memorize or the algebraic equations that I tried to shut out of my memory forever. But here’s the kicker – these tests are EXTREMELY important for my grad school portfolio. The better I do, the more competitive I am as an applicant. So why am I frittering my time, wasting it as if there’s nothing crucial about these tests?
I am lazy. There, I said it. And what does the Bible say about being lazy and being self controlled? Because, let’s face it. Laziness and procrastination are forms of self-control. It’s me, lacking to desire and motivation to do what needs to be done. My opportunity for education is a gift. These tests are a gift. The ability to use my mind is a gift.
“In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
“The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work.”
Yikes. The result of not working, according to Proverbs? Poverty. Death. Bad stuff. While failing to prepare for these tests certainly won’t result in death or poverty, it could result in the waste of the talents and abilities that the Lord has given me. In my mind, the misuse of the Lord’s gifts is a horrible tragedy. But I am thankful that I am not alone in my weakness. It is good to reflect on who is providing my strength and focus day by day.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become tired or weary. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.”
So in the end, I realize that my ability to exercise my self-control and “willpower” comes from one source alone – Christ. He gives me the strength to do the task at hand. And it is a measure of comfort to know that God does not suffer from laziness or procrastination. He does all things perfectly and in his timing! What a good reminder to me as I sit down to do the “boring” or “difficult” task of preparing for these tests. Now, back to work!