I am the master of putting things off. Procrastination is my special power, I admit it.
I really need to do something about it, but I will get to it later because I have too much to do right now. Of course, most of that long list of stuff to do right now involves tasks I put off because I am so good at procrastinating.
Last week was a prime example of what I am talking about. I am currently serving on the board of deacons at our church, and April was my month for opening prayer and devotions. April was my month because March had been my month and I had forgotten to do it. Our chairperson, being a kind and understanding soul, let me have a do-over.
Wednesday was the meeting. For the week prior to that day, Jennifer and another deacon sent me reminders via text, phone calls, email and verbally just so I would not forget to do it. Each time I got the reminder I would reply with something along the line of either I was tired or too distracted to focus and do a good job. In all cases, I promised to do it tomorrow.
Well, Wednesday rolled around and I was out of tomorrows. But I did have later in the day. The deacons meeting was not until 6 at night and I had all day to find a devotional.
Morning came and went, and I was much too busy doing something. What that was, I do not recall but I am sure it was important and urgent. I would take care of finding the devotional over lunch.
Then whatever I was doing that morning carried over into the early afternoon and wiped out my lunch time. Do not worry, I still ate lunch. I just did not have time to find a devotional before I had to get out and finish the morning crisis so I could begin work on the urgent afternoon work. I do not remember what was so urgent and important, but I will almost guarantee that they were tasks I had put off until later.
I still was not worried about finding the devotional. The internet can be a bad thing but one of the good things is that there are many good, concise devotionals that are only a Google search away. I remember the good old days when finding a devotional meant going through old copies of the Daily Bread or old books, we had used in Sunday school class. That required much more time and preparation. You can now search by the subject you want your devotional to be about and several will pop up. Modern technology is such a great thing.
All I had to do was be done with my afternoon tasks and chores by 5 p.m. That would give me 10 minutes to change and 20 minutes to find an inspirational, life changing devotional. (Who am I kidding? It gave me time to find something fast and simple.)
I must admit that I am not good at devotionals or public prayer and when I am not good at something, that often leads to my procrastination. Still, I had time to pull it off and no one would ever be the wiser. Then I got the phone call.
Jennifer had taken the day off and was cutting trees with the skid loader. She had gotten into some soft dirt and was high centered on a rock and needed to be pulled out. I was facing a dilemma. I could go on with my plan, leave Jennifer stranded and find a devotional. She would have to walk home, and I would probably be gone by the time she got to the house.
While I am good at putting problems off until later, I am also a practical man who values my life and safety. I fired up the tractor, found a chain and left to pull her out. If everything went well, I would still have time to find something.
Everything did not go well. I could not get a straight pull on the skid loader. It was really stuck, and in the process, we flattened the back tire. At this point I must admit that I got a bit grumpy and probably was in no mindset to do a devotional.
Jennifer found a devotional for me while she waited for me to come over with the tractor and sent it to me. Isaac was at the house when this all transpired and found a devotional and emailed it to me.
I arrived at deacons meeting, disheveled, in my chore clothes and not really knowing what my devotional was. I first opened Jennifer’s, but it was too small for me to read and in all the chaos I had forgotten my glasses. I then proceeded to Isaac’s. It was an excellent devotional, saving the day and fulfilling the duty I had been assigned.
I may wait until the last minute and fly by the seat of my pants, but I get things done. Maybe that is my “special power.”
Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension educator for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. He can be reached at email@example.com.