Peace & Procrastination

By Marlena

Our world is like a lot of cogs and wheels. Things work when their pieces are at peace with each other.

We’re like that too: complex machines of mind-pieces, physical-pieces, soul-pieces, emotional- and psychological-pieces, you name it. And it’s those inner workings that drive our behaviours.

When these things aren’t at peace with each other, we slow down. Our plans and efforts and right-ordered behaviours all slow down and get glitchy. We’re confused inside.

We want one thing, but we’re caught up in another.
We want intimacy and friendship, but we’re caught up in our shame.
We want to be an expert, but we’re caught up in trying to prove we can do everything.
We want to write a book, but in the back of our memories we’re caught up in someone’s words that the things we finish are never good enough, so we delay to avoid any possibility of that coming true.
We want to apply for that big job, but we’re caught up in doing the little, less important tasks we know we’ll succeed at for sure.
We want to hand that report in, but we’re caught up in a need to feel in control and have people come ask us for it.
We want to pursue our dreams, but we’re caught up with ours and others preconceived notions of “legitimate work” and success.
We want to step out in faith, but we’re doubting God is actually trustworthy, and our other big questions we don’t have answered yet.
We want to be on time for others, but we’re caught up in a paralyzing void of intimacy or attention so we subconsciously enjoy the attention and graces that come to those who are late…and we delay.
We want to read more, but we’ve got FOMO** for every social event that comes up.
We want start early, but we’re caught up in self-doubt and delay to feel that rush of the last-minute and feel like we’re capable and can beat the odds.
We want a clean garage, but we’re not sure who we are or what our memories are worth without our stuff.

Procrastination is when you unnecessarily delay the process of doing things at their right time. Things in life have a right time, whether or not there’s a firm deadline by which others keep us accountable. The ‘right time’ is often determined by the consequences and benefits of when you do or don’t do it.

When we’re not at peace with ourselves inside, with God, or with others, our evaluations of these costs and benefits can get a little skewed. It may not be a totally conscious and deliberate thing, but in retrospect, its identifiable: we didn’t do what we knew was good, right, or needed, even though we knew it and wanted it. Something inside us wasn’t at peace, like a part of a machine that acts up under pressure and goes off with a mind of its own, redirecting the other internal processes in the machine, or even shutting it down. Streamlined, right-ordered actions don’t follow from confused hearts, minds, and souls*.

We need to find peace.  Of course, its not as if we lose it on purpose. Losing our peace can happen for myriad of reasons, many of which we should never feel guilty about. But finding, re-gaining, keeping, protecting, nurturing our peace is our responsibility alone.

When we do have it, it can pervade our whole life.
Peace inside of us washes away the muck of bad memories and wrong attitudes that drag us down. Peace inside of us motivates us with overwhelming joy in the important things, so we can work hard at the task at hand without putting our worth, joy, or sense of hope in it. Peace inside of us guards us when we fail because we can give grace to ourselves. Peace inside of us keeps our eyes on the big picture. A person with peace is powerful.

Peace proactively drives out procrastination.

Have you made peace? With yourself? All of it? Your past? Your monsters and fears? Your direction, and what challenges and opportunities it will take you to? With those you love? Those you hate? With your big questions? With God?

Where do you need peace deep down in there? Is it connected to your procrastination?

* Now, we’re all kind of “confused” inside in this way (who does have it all together?!) and we get things done despite it. And of course, there are people who meet all their deadlines (procrastinating or not), by all the wrong motivations, so getting things done on time doesn’t necessarily mean we’re at peace. In general though, I think we all have things in our lives we chronically procrastinate, and where we find procrastination in our lives, we can probably attach it to some missing “piece of peace”.

** FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.

Here are some wonderful verses on peace to meditate on,