Devotional Readings

Procrastination

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3.

Throughout my developing years and into my adult life, my mother often said to me, “Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today; tomorrow you may never see the rising of the sun.” I don’t know where she got that saying, but it has proven to be true. Perhaps she observed that I was always putting off doing things. I’m one of those people who have to think things through before coming to a decision; meanwhile, time and opportunities pass by.

The building of the church where I worship was recently completed, and it was decided to have a grand opening celebration. This necessitated having a souvenir journal, and a drive was on to solicit donations. I mailed letters to friends far away, but because of time constraints I decided to deliver letters to my neighbors personally. One neighbor in particular I was impressed to visit. As I passed her house on my travels, I’d look over and think, I have to stop by. But I never did. It was always I will do it tomorrow. But tomorrow never came.

One morning as I left home to run errands I decided, Today, on my way back, I will stop. I even took a copy of Steps to Christ with me in case I hadn’t given her one before. My intentions that morning were all good. There was even a strong prompting by the Holy Spirit to visit her. But I still did not stop.

That night guilt overwhelmed me. I decided not to let another day go by without calling, regardless of the lateness of the hour. I’m glad I did. When her husband answered the phone, I asked, “May I speak with Phyllis?”

“She is no longer here,” he replied. “She left yesterday.” I didn’t grasp what he meant. Recognizing the hesitation in my voice he added, “She died yesterday.”

Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today. It could be someone’s last day–or it could be yours or mine.

Lord, please help me to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and not pass up the opportunity to be of service to others while there is still time.

–Dolores Smith


from A Word from Home
Ardis Stenbakken (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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