Elisha put his hands to the plow and never look back
When we begin to talk about this word “procrastination,” there is no one more qualified to speak on it than Jesus. Luke framed it in a no non-sense manner in this text. Now lets dive right into it.
Jesus said, “No procrastination.” No backward looks, you cannot put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” Luke 9:61-62 The Message Bible.
This is a profound statement by Jesus. He does not bite is tongue are mix words when he uses the words, “no procrastination.” Jesus is telling this individual clearly that if he wants to be his disciple, he must stop procrastinating, and begin to do what is right and follow him. Sometimes we find ourselves in this position, putting it off for tomorrow what we can clearly do today. Now before we continue to discuss the lesson in which Jesus was trying to teach this individual, allow me to give you the definition of this word procrastination.
Procrastination by the exact definition is simply the act of putting things off for another time, which is the obvious bit. Defining why people procrastinate have many different answers, when people come to understand their procrastinating tendencies is that they put off a task again and again because procrastination equals fear of failure for them and many others.
Some may hide it behind a facade of laziness or being too busy, but the reason so many people put things off repeatedly, is that they are scared that they will not succeed and this will prove them a loser or something similar. This may not apply to procrastinating about doing the dishes, which probably is just laziness, but for major things like looking for a new job even if you are desperately unhappy with your current job, or perhaps starting a fitness regime. In the end, most of these activities people procrastinate about do involve a risk whether it be time lost, money lost, or a loss of face they all come with an element of risk. Even if the current situation is even worse in the long run the fear of perhaps proving they cannot do something will stop them even trying!
Now let us look back at the lesson Jesus was trying to teach, as he told this individual, “no procrastination.” How many times have you found yourself in a position of having been assigned a task, and then repeatedly you begin to put off what you knew needed to be done for another day.
In this lesson, Jesus was not only teaching this individual, but also the lesson that Jesus was teaching is prevalent for us today. You see, the one thing we must understand is, Jesus did not grab own to disciples easily, he was not one to take own just anyone who wanted to follow him. Those who truly wanted to be his disciples needed to understand that it would cost them something. Jesus told them that most of God‘s creatures have warm places in which to live and to sleep, however the son of man has no home of his own. No place to lay his head, He said to be my disciples, a person must willingly put aside worldly security, put your hand to the plow, don’t look back, and follow me. No more procrastinating, in order to be my disciple, you must be obedient, to my word.
As Jesus was traveling, he met another man, and he asked him to be his disciple. But this gentleman said before he could do this, he first needed to return home and bury his father. The man was asking for permission for Jesus to wait until his father died, this would be an indefinite delay. The reason is not given, but whatever it was, the man wanted to do it first. Whether his concern was fulfilling a duty, having financial security, keeping family approval, are something else, he did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet. Aren’t we just like that? The things in this world are so much more important to us, then been able to follow Jesus, and work in the kingdom of God. It’s time that we put our priorities in the correct order.
Now listen how Jesus responded to this man; “Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead” He points out that those who want to follow him should count the costs and set aside any conditions they may have.” In other words, let those who are spiritually – those who have not responded to the call to commitment stay home and handle responsibilities such as burying the dead. This may sound insensitive, but it had precedents. A high priest and those who had taken the Nazirite vow were required by the law to avoid the corpse of even a parent. (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6-8). A later Jewish precedent says that if there were enough people in attendance, a student of the Torah should not stop his study to bury the dead. Jesus place commitment to God even above these precedents. As God’s Son, Jesus did not hesitate to demand complete loyalty. Even family loyalty was not to take priority over the demands of obedience to the command to go and preach the coming of the kingdom of God. Jesus direct challenge forces believers to evaluate their priorities. Once again Jesus was saying, stop procrastinating, put your hand to the plow, and don’t look back.
Here we find a picture of a person putting his hand to the plow and looking back can be compared with Elijah’s call of Elisha in 1 Kings 19:19-21. Elisha was call to be a prophet right in the middle of plowing a field– and he never looked back. In fact, he slaughtered the oxen so that there would be no temptation to return. Elisha then moved wholeheartedly into the ministry to which he had been called. Jesus explained that service in the kingdom of God was of such vital importance that his followers must make it their top priority. They must step out in faith to serve him, without looking back. They must stop procrastinating, stop putting off, what they know is right for the moment, and do it now.
What does Jesus want from his followers? He wants Total dedication, not halfhearted commitment. His followers must accept the cross along with the crown, judgment as well as mercy. They must count the cost and be willing to abandon everything else that has given them security. Nothing should distract you, from service for the kingdom, and when you do this, success is just a stone’s throw away.
Now many people have come to realize that their procrastination is all about fear and preconceived notions and these are barriers that are stopping them from achieving success. “Knowing is half the battle” it is a more apt saying to overcome procrastination and overcoming a fear is a daunting problem for most. Therefore, before you undertake any action to overcome procrastination try to understand the subconscious barriers you have that will trip you up in any attempt to succeed.
Now I will close this discussion and allow you to provide the answer to the question we begin with, “IS PROCRASTINATION STOPPING YOU FROM ACHIEVING SUCCESS?” Please write and let me know where you stand? I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.