This will be part one of a series of three posts called, “Start. Don’t Stop. Finish.”
| Start. |
Me: “Hi! My name is Christen…”
Y’all: “Hi, Christen!”
Me: “…and I am a procrastinator.”
Y’all, it’s TERRIBLE! I have found that I work best in crunch time, and that has now become my crutch. Truthfully, I’m surprised that I’m actually typing this blog ahead of time. I’m not lazy; I work efficiently. I’m just a procrastinator. It is like I have a stalling spirit…just waiting! But for what? Why am I such a masterful procrastinator? Thanks for asking! I am a procrastinator because I am an over thinker. There…I said it.
My truth: In addition to being an over thinker, if I’m 100% truthful without sugar coating, I am a control freak! I am a VERY logical person. For me, everything has to make sense on paper FIRST. I prefer all of my details up front so that I can make a very conscious, careful, and correct decision, or so I think. Here’s the problem, life doesn’t work that way, and more importantly, GOD doesn’t work that way. God will say, ” I want you to start a business,” without telling you where your start up money will come from. He’ll say, “Walk away from your job,” as if you have another one lined up. Bruh? Or in my case, He keeps giving me assignments that are both outside of my comfort zone and my yearly budget. I have spent the greater portion of the last 6 months asking, “Uh God, who gone pay for this?” So here’s the pattern: I over think the instruction, I wait for all of the details to be explained, I become discouraged when things don’t seem to align perfectly to make for a flawless journey, and then I don’t move. I get stuck at start.
Ya’ll, I’m gone tell this truth and get set free TUHDAY! Judge your Algebra II Part A teacher! Tuh!
So back to this crutch of mine. After further examination, I’ve discovered that my security really isn’t in the fact that I work best in crunch time. Maybe my proclivity to over think, my need to be in control, my desire to have every single detail typed out in a portfolio in Times New Roman, double-spaced, size 12 font is a nothing more than a mirage. Maybe the root of my procrastination is FEAR! Aaaahaaaaa!!!!
So let’s chat. Our FIRST response to instruction or a request is typically hesitance and questioning. If I just said to you, “Give me $20,” you probably are going to look at me a little strange for about 11.25 seconds. Why? Because you have unanswered questions. Why do I have to do this? What will happen after I do this? What if I need that $20 later? This same model of responses are what come to mind when God gives us an instruction or assignment. The following are a list of examples of things God led me to do and my responses to Him. Ready?
God: Christen, go back to school. Get your cosmetology license.
Me: You want me to go back to school AGAIN? What will people say? And I have exhausted almost all of my federal funding. How am I going to pay for this? I can’t afford tuition out of pocket! And I don’t have the time for school. My life is already so busy. I’ll be too exhausted to do this. How will I still be able to have a life and do all that I need to do? Oh, and what about the conflict of hours with my work schedule in the summer time? Yeah, maybe this isn’t the right time for cosmetology school.
God: Christen, I want you to write a book. No more procrastination.
Me: A book? Who’s going to read it? I’m just getting consistent followers with my blog, and you want me to write a book? And who is going to pay for this, kind sir? I don’t know THE FIRST THING about writing or publishing a book. And what am I supposed to say in this “book?” When do I have time to write it since you told me I should go back to school. Remember that?
God: Release the song that I gave you…that one that carried you through your roughest seasons. Someone else needs to hear it too.
Me: So now you want me to be a recording artist too? Bruh! First of all God, my allergies don’t have me in the best of voice right now. I’m a little hoarse. And I don’t even know if I want to record music anymore. I tried that a few years ago, and it failed. What will people say when I pop up trying to do this again? EVERYBODY is releasing a single in the 757…EVERYBODY! They’ll laugh at me. AND WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?????? I don’t have time for this right now. You already told me to go to school, then I started on this here book that YOU told me to write, and now you want me to find the time, voice, and money to sing? Bet. Got it.
And guess what happened… God didn’t pay me any mind! At the root of my 50-11 questions was FEAR! Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of a lack of resources, fear that if I started I wouldn’t be able to follow through, fear that no one would like what I produced…FEAR FEAR FEAR! But….. “God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.” [2 Timothy 1:7] WOAH! So you’re telling me that he created me with built-in power and a mind that is stable? And all the things that I am afraid of, I conjured that up myself? Now I’ll be reasonable. Past disappointments and failed attempts will cause quite a bit of trepidation, but according to this scripture, my pre-loaded power, love, and mental stability has the authority to cancel out my fear cause fear isn’t what he gave me in the first place. What?
But one question still remained.
Me: WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS, KIND SIR?????
God’s response in a nut shell: Why do I have to give you details for a vision that you haven’t even written down? Even prospective business owners know that in order to get a loan from the bank they at least have to have a business plan. And why do you need your steps ordered when you haven’t even taken one? What good is a full map of the journey if you have no plans to actually take it? I’m not Google Maps; I’m not giving step-by-step instructions and an estimated arrival time. Here’s my guarantee: if you start, I’ll make sure you finish. I’m God…I think I can handle that much.
Me: Well…the Lord is in His holy temple. I guess I’ll shut up then. (Scripture reference Habakkuk 2:20.)
Side note: God absolutely communicates with me in clap-back form. I’m a firm believer that God will talk with you in a way that you can understand. Since I’m fluent in sarcasm, He…well, you read the above passage. Moving forward…
Even though I had the “dang, you got me” look on my face, I had to admit that His points were extremely valid. Duh! How dare I ask for a detailed five year plan complete with quarterly profit projections, pie charts, and graphs before I even entertained the idea of committing to at least say “yes” to his instruction. Whew! Hasn’t his track record proven that if he tells me to start he knows where I’ll will end up, and he has calculated the route there – detours, delays, potholes, accidents, and all? Why not just start, Chris?
“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6 [Christian Standard Bible]
(You will see this scripture again, by the way.)
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
God is in your start. *smiles* So here you are listening to his instruction, looking at your lack, calculating your insufficiency, and concluding that you can’t do this. But did you include God in your hypothesis? Let’s rewind just a second. So you’re telling me that GOD gave you the idea, dream, instruction, or vision and you don’t think he’s not wrapped all up in those details? I submit that in all actually the idea, dream, instruction, and vision is centered around Him — He’s at the core of it all. #staywoke
So to you, my dear friend, who finds yourself enthralled with a dream… You can barely work your day job for thinking about the thing that is going to ultimately replace it. You eat, sleep, and breathe this thing because it has now been embedded into the core of your existence. Even when you try not to think about it you find yourself thinking about how you should stop thinking about it. You may even be at the crossroads of having to make a decision concerning the instruction. I imagine you are standing at the edge of the diving board trying to muster the courage to jump. Well, I am that petty friend that isn’t going to keep waiting for you to get yourself together…you’re holding up the line. So what am I here to do? I’M PUSHING YOU INTO THE POOL!!! Yup! It’s time to take the dive, baby! And here’s the thing, God’s not going to let you drown!
TUHDAY let’s make a pact that we are GOING TO START! This will mean different things to different people. Here’s what “starting ” may mean for you:
- Actually saying “Yes” to what God is telling you to do
- Jotting down all of your ideas concerning this venture on paper (brain dumping is what I call it)
- “Writing the Vision” — creating a plan and even tentative deadlines
- REACHING OUT FOR HELP! Trust me, this is too big for you to accomplish alone. You need purposeful partnerships.
- Jumping! If you have the tools, information, and support you need, JUMP! Stop procrastinating.
So far in my journey to fulfilling just a portion of the things that had me shaking in my boots (as mentioned in “I Can Do All Things”), I have discovered that as I make a step, God reveals the next one. My daddy once preached a sermon called, “You’ll Get it as You Go.” (You’ll probably hear that one again…. That’s gooooood, honey!)
And for you who are still worried about the unknown and the doors before you that seem to be shut and impossible to open, my daddy used to give this analogy…
When you pull into the parking lot of the grocery store, the automatic, sliding doors do not open. Just the same, the doors don’t open as you are walking towards the store. Oh, but when you reach the threshold of the door, it will open for you.
My point? Start. It will work out, fall in place, and open when you bust a move (as my mamma used to say). Hey, you! Yes, you! START!
Ready. Set. Go.
“You’ve got this, and He’s got you.”
…thanks, best friend.
I hope this helps.
Go ahead… Say something!