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November 15, 2012

The Procrastination Nation

There is a painting called “The Unfinished Portrait” by Elizabeth Shoumatoff. It is of our 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Shoumatoff started painting Roosevelt on April the 12th, 1945. Roosevelt took a break and while eating lunch complained of a headache. He slumped over in his chair passed out and never regained consciousness. He died of a brain hemorrhage later that afternoon, and now the unfinished portrait hangs in Franklin Roosevelt’s former retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia. Franz Schubert’s Symphony Number 8 in B minor was never completed due to the great composer’s death, and now it is more commonly referred to as The Unfinished Symphony. J.R. Tolkien, who wrote the Lord of the Rings trilogy that we are all familiar with, also had many unfinished books, some of which his son published in 1980, and they were appropriately titled Unfinished Tales.

I have cited some very famous examples, but there are multitudes of books that are only half written. There are countless paintings that are unfinished. There are numerous potential masterpieces that were never completed, and there are millions of dreams that were never acted upon. There are dreams that die each and every day because they were never seized. There are countless life-changing possibilities that silently slip by because the moment was never grabbed. We are pros at procrastination. We are a procrastination nation. Our philosophy is: Why do today what you can put off on the next generation? That’s the way most of our politicians think. Why do we procrastinate? Why do we leave things unfinished? Why do we miss life-changing opportunities and just let them slip silently into the night? We think that if we have good intentions, then that counts as much as actions, but good intentions are worthless.

Some of you have been intending to join the church, but you haven’t. Some of you have been intending to put your family in their rightful place and really spend more time with your kids, but you haven’t. Some of you have been intending to step out in faith and go for the dream that God has placed in your heart, but you haven’t. Some of you have been intending to put God first in your finances and start tithing, but you haven’t. Good intentions are worthless, meaningless. Action is all that counts. We only get one shot here in this life on earth to do something that will outlast us and outlive us. We only get one shot to do something that makes an eternal difference. What will you do with YOUR one shot?

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Proverbs 13:4