The envelope sat unopened on the kitchen island. For days its intended recipient walked past it never once stopping to examine the contents of the envelope. They knew it was there but chose to ignore it. The contents really were no mystery. The bright pink invoice in the envelope’s window announced to everyone what was inside. It was another reminder of a debt that was owed.
Finally after several days of watching the envelope stay unopened I could take it no longer. I stopped the person that the envelope had come for and told them to open it. In frustration they did and threw it back on the counter. “What am I suppose to do with this? I can’t pay it.” I felt their frustration but knew from experience that this wasn’t going away. In my ears I could hear these wise words spoken to me as a young man and repeated them “Just because you don’t open the envelope doesn’t mean you don’t owe the debt. You’re never going to get past this until you face the problem and start working your way out of it.”
Since the Garden of Eden man has always chose the path of hiding. The cry of God’s voice ringing through the garden, “Adam where are you?” can arguably be called the start of mankind’s journey of not owning up to what he’s done. The path of least resistance always winds its way through denial. If I ignore it…it will eventually go away.
I have met a few people along the way that just get it. They never see a mountain that is so high that they immediately look for the path of denial and least resistance, hoping that when they look back over their shoulder it will all be a bad dream and everything is better. I wish I could count myself as one of these types of people but I admit I fall more into the procrastinators’ camp and I bear the scars to prove it.
One of the benefits of aging is gaining a bit of perspective and hopefully wisdom. Age has taught me this valuable lesson-the nature of problems is that if ignored they don’t go away…they just get bigger and eventually will have to be faced.
Is this some new profound revelation that I’ve discovered? Have I unearthed the secrets to the mystery of life? No… this is just simple common sense that most of us have heard a thousand times. Unfortunately it is also this simple truth that will challenge most of us through our adult years; causing molehills to turn into mountains and problems that could have been overcome with a little effort to become anchors that hold us down and deny us access to God’s best plans for our lives.
Every day we chose to not face a situation that needs our immediate attention compounds the interest on a bill that will eventually require repayment. When we make the choice to disengage instead of engage, life doesn’t stop. It continues to march forward dragging all of our unresolved problems from one place in life to the next. Unresolved issues don’t go away, they just become stumbling blocks between you and your destiny.
Why do we procrastinate? I think the major reason is that we are afraid. Maybe it’s the fear of facing a mess of our own making and the regret that comes from knowing you can’t go back and do something over. You can only go forward and own your problem and deal with it. So we default to living in denial. We think that what we don’t know, won’t hurt us, but sadly it always will. Ignorance is bliss is not a life plan it’s just ignorance.
Years ago my wife offered me a piece of advice that has helped me to tackle many of my problems. She told me that I had to change the way I viewed my mountains. I was always looking at the top of the mountain wondering how I would ever climb it. Because it seemed impossible I would get discouraged and quit. She told me to stop looking at the top and just look for the next step. No mountain would ever be climbed in leaps but by walking step by step the summit would grow closer and eventually reachable.
Those words have done more to help me fight my way out of trouble than anything else I have ever tried. I can’t count the times that I have faced insurmountable opposition and challenges that seemed to spell the end of my dreams. It’s in those moments I have learned to circle the simple promises of God more than any other time. He will give me nothing more than I can handle…no weapon formed against me shall prosper…I can do all things through Christ that gives me strength. The strength found in those promises has given me the determination to open my eyes to what needs to be done and it has always been to find the first step and the next will be waiting.
Sometimes the first step is to just open the envelope. Find out where you are. You can’t develop a plan without knowing where you stand. God has promised to not leave us alone. He has promised to help us if we call out to Him in our times of trouble. Admitting you’re in trouble is seen as weakness by some but in God’s eyes it is the first step to a miracle.
Staying under your rock may seem like the ideal answer to your problems. The rain can’t hit you if your head is covered. The problem with having your head covered is you might miss the moment that the sun comes back out looking to bring life to your impossible moment. Engage my friend. Defeat the little foxes of procrastination that seek to destroy your destiny. The start of every miracle is the first step you take to not only face but to climb your mountain