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Moving past procrastination

A Christian Science perspective: There is a spiritual solution to procrastination.

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Is there anything that you’ve wanted to get done for a while but somehow it keeps getting pushed down the list? I can definitely think of a few things. Why do we sometimes put off tasks that would prove beneficial if they could only get done?

Whenever there’s something I’ve been putting off, I find it helpful to look at where my thought has gotten stuck. Obstacles, fears, and indecision can build up to the point where a task seems unpleasant or impossible. Like a car motor that has run out of oil, any worthwhile project can come to a standstill through dried-up thinking.

But I’ve discovered that there’s a spiritual solution to procrastination. Rather than getting stalled in limited human thinking, I’ve learned to turn to infinite divine Mind, God, for fresh “oil” or inspiration to get things moving.

A passage in the Bible challenges me to quiet my thought and listen for divine guidance: “Listen! Wisdom is calling out. Reason is making herself heard” (Prov. 8:1, Good News translation). The Bible promises that for every obstacle claiming to block our path, divine intelligence has an answer. “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Ps. 139:17, New International Version). As I’ve practiced deep, humble listening, I’ve found that right ideas come.

It’s reassuring that God actually created us to hear divine direction clearly. The King James Bible says, “Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee” (Deut. 4:36). And this spiritual wisdom is efficient and concise in removing obstacles and unfolding progress. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12).

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor and was a successful writer, speaker, businesswoman, and spiritual healer, had a dynamic “get-things-done” attitude that continues to energize me whenever I read her books. She wrote, “[T]he true knowledge and proof of life is in putting off the limitations and putting on the possibilities....” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 177).

Years ago, I needed to have major masonry work done on my house. As a first-time homeowner, I had no idea how to find a good company, and I kept hearing there was a shortage of masons in my town. I did a lot of research, but the prices were way out of my range, and all the reputable masons were booked. I felt fearful and stuck – and I stayed there for quite a while. Not knowing what to do, I procrastinated. Finally I decided to listen more carefully for divine inspiration. I identified each obstacle in my thinking and then listened for the spiritual idea needed to overcome it. One by one, the right ideas unfolded, and I was guided to an excellent company. The day I needed to sign the contract, the funds were in my bank account.

I love the idea that since divine Mind is infinite, the same spiritual intelligence that’s making its voice heard to me is also communicating specifically to everyone, including every individual in the world holding a leadership position, conveying constructive ideas and eliminating foot-dragging so that people’s needs can be effectively met.

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Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Each successive period of progress is a period more humane and spiritual” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 26). As I continue to strive to get everything done on my growing “to-do list,” I listen for divine direction to push past obstacles and accomplish what needs to be done. As I join with others in this approach, I believe that this forward movement of thought and action can give impetus to progress in our neighborhoods and even in the whole world.

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