Thursday, July 30, 2009


Are you like me and put things off? Do you ever think, "I'm going to write that person a note!" and then never do it? Way too often I am telling people, "I wrote a note to you in my head!" This might be a funny thing to say. Sadly, though, those words in my head never encouraged or helped anyone. They just sat there. Idle. Dead. Lost forever. Words that could have been used to speak life into someone else's life.

I can be the world's worst procrastinator. Oh, I hate this about myself! I let the present moment tasks keep me from doing little things for other people. The momentary obligations seem so large before me that those thoughts I have of 'making that phone call' or 'writing that note' all too often get swallowed up and forgotten about.

Lately, my time of bible study has been on this very point. Several times in the passed couple of weeks I have read a devotional or heard a sermon about not putting off tomorrow what you can do today. This morning was no exception. It was once again about this very point. I am pretty sure the Lord is trying to tell me something. I am reminded of the Nike slogan: Just Do It. That is what I hear the Lord saying to me: "Just do it. Do it NOW." The words I read this morning in 'Streams in the Desert' spoke so powerfully to me that I thought I'd share them with you:

What shall I do? I expect to pass through this world but once. Therefore any good work, kindness, or service I can render to any person or animal, let me do it now. Let me not neglcet or delay to do it, for I will not pass this way again. an Old Quaker saying

It isn't the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache
At the setting of the sun;
The tender word unspoken,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of your brother's way,
The bit of heartfelt counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for,
With troubles enough of your own.

These little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind,
These chances to be angels,
Which even mortals find--

They came in nights of silence,
To take away the grief,
When hope is faint and feeble,
And a drought has stopped belief.

For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all too great,
To allow our slow compassion
That tarries until too late.
And it's not the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache,
At the setting of the sun.

Adelaide Proctor

Give what you have for you never know--to someone else it may be better than you can even dare to think. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Katie said...

maria, I too am so guilty of being a procrastinator! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

Smelling Coffee said...

Great post! Very convicting. I write lots of notes "in my head" too. (I also cook meals in my head for others, etc.) I'm working on this very thing too. Thanks for the post and poem. Blessings to you... Jennifer