Now that most of you have had about a good month to get back into the daily routine of school and school work, I cannot help but wonder if there is something about school that you dislike as much as I did when I was in school. Although it has been just a few years since I left school, looking back, the one aspect of it that I miss the least is homework; of how I disliked having to do homework.
I was thinking about this dislike for having to do homework as I prepared this Critique article for this month’s Beacon Lights. Perhaps there are some aspects of our childhood that we never outgrow, no matter how long we live.
I have been writing these Critique articles for several years now, but there is one thing that never seems to change with just about each one of them. I always seem to put off writing them until I absolutely can no longer avoid it. I have a Critique schedule sent to me each year. I know when each article is due, but the pattern is always the same. Each article gets put aside until it can no longer be avoided. I find all kinds of excuses not to get down the basement and begin to organize and write these articles.
The reason for all of this may be in part my dislike for doing homework. These articles are a burden imposed upon me by outside obligations; and like the kid I am, I put off tackling them until it is simply unavoidable.
Thinking about this now, it all seems so senseless. But habits and frames of mind from our childhood persist. Years after we think that we have matured, the resistance is still felt in doing assigned homework.
This attitude is no doubt a lasting effect of my school years. Having no proof other than my impressions, it seems that homework is generally regarded by most school kids as the most unpleasant part of the educational process, because it is always there, it has to be done, it is involuntary, and it forces us to think.
Now you may be wondering why the reference to homework. The point I want to make you consider with me is the whole idea of putting things off until tomorrow.
We all do it; me with my Critique articles, you perhaps with your homework, others with work that has to be done around the house; but each of us has something that he or she will put off if at all possible.
And what problems that creates for all of us. Just staying with the idea of homework; if you don’t keep up from day to day, it doesn’t take too long and you will find yourself behind to the point where you can never hope to catch up, there just aren’t enough hours in one day to do it.
The whole idea of being a procrastinator is not limited to just schools and homework. The idea carries over into the area of our church life as well.
How many times haven’t we all said we would do better in preparing for our church society’s Bible discussion, and we really do mean it. But when that time rolls around the next week we find ourselves in the same old rut; we just keep putting it off until there are no more tomorrows left. Let’s face it and admit that our society life would be a lot better if we all just put a little time into preparing for it. The Bible discussions that go the best are the ones where there is a good exchange of ideas and thoughts, and that only comes with preparation.
Our catechism classes are yet another area of our church life which can so easily be put off until later. Have you ever found yourself trying to memorize the week’s questions and answers on the same day as your class? It is really too bad that we have to end up doing as little as possible to get by. Perhaps we can get by that way week after week, but what lasting benefit do we get from “learning” anything that way?
There is one other area of our church life where we often procrastinate as young people, and that is the area of our making public confession of our faith. I am afraid that as young people we often get the feeling that as long as we hold off on making confession of our faith, we are somehow free to do as we please. We tend to feel that the church can do nothing to us as long as we stay away from public confession, and anything we do up to that point is not going to bother the church too much.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth. God regards sin as sin; there are no “gray” areas into which a young person falls simply because he or she has not made confession of his or her faith.
Being a procrastinator is another one of the many faults that we have to fight against daily. We are old enough by now to know what is required from us by our parents, teachers, and ministers. Before the Word of God we have no excuse. Yet each day finds us conveniently putting off things until tomorrow.
We all have a calling here on this earth, and whatever that may be, as Christians we have a responsibility to do that work to the best of our ability and that means among other things doing it on time. Pray that God will give you grace to do that, for we all realize the weakness of our own selves; and we know all too well that without God’s help we can do none of this.