A Christian Science perspective: On overcoming procrastination and an unwillingness to act.
A long time ago I used to procrastinate. After getting myself into one too many binds, I knew I needed to find my way out of this mental habit. Let me share with you what I learned that helped me find my way out of this burdensome mental muddle.
One common factor behind procrastination or our unwillingness to act is the notion that something is lacking. So often people believe that if they don’t have enough time to finish something, they shouldn’t even begin – they shut down before they even start. In other instances, the holdup comes from not having all the materials needed, whether it is information or physical materials. One other lack that is often lurking in thought is a lack of confidence. The notion “I don’t even know where to begin” sits on one’s shoulder, whispering, like an unwanted naysayer.
What I finally learned was to value the now. What can I do now? I may feel overwhelmed about doing a whole project, but can I at least outline what needs to be done? I may not have all the information, but can I do anything with what I do have now? I may not have time to finish today, but what can I get done in the next 15 minutes? I’ve never done this before, but what do I know about this right now?
“Now” is an idea that I have learned from my study of the Bible and Christian Science. It speaks to the immediacy of the Christ, the full expression of all God is. And draws my thought continually to a statement in the Bible: “[B]ehold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).
For me this statement is a call for action. It inspires me to embrace life – progress, productivity – this moment. I don’t have to wait for some future time. I see that I have all that I need right now to do something with this moment! It speaks of Christ Jesus’ teaching that God, Love itself, is providing all that we need and that this same Love tenderly awakens us to exactly what is needed every tick of the clock.
The spiritual reasoning that undergirds this idea is that as the image and likeness of God, which is how the Scriptures describe our true identity (see Genesis 1:26, 27), we include all that is in our source, God, right now. We are each the outcome of the Infinite. Nothing small or limited about that! This would tell me that we each inherently include, right now, all that is needed to fulfill the call of the moment. This doesn’t have anything to do with willing oneself to action, but rather, expressing our God-given qualities every moment. We each include the ability and willingness to respond to the inspiration that is abundantly provided every moment from the infinite Mind that is God.
The founder of this newspaper and discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, speaks of the power of divine Love to move us in a 1903 article titled, “Now and then”: “We own no past, no future, we possess only now. If the reliable now is carelessly lost in speaking or in acting, it comes not back again. Whatever needs to be done which cannot be done now, God prepares the way for doing; while that which can be done now, but is not, increases our indebtedness to God. Faith in divine Love supplies the ever-present help and now, and gives the power to ‘act in the living present’ ” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 12) . What a stirring statement from one who lived what she preached.
Now! Right now we are each the unique expression of all God is. Beginning to comprehend this, we find we have right at hand all the inspiration, willingness, and sufficiency that are needed to be productive this moment. We don’t have to wait for some other time. Now is calling us!