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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Procrastination Feeds Satisfaction

In a little while, I'll be heading to the chaos in the kitchen left over from cooking a Christmas Eve turkey dinner. I won't mention that the turkey dinner was two days ago. I chose to ignore the mess while I enjoyed Christmas Day without cleaning knowing we could just eat left-overs. The interesting thing is I'm actually looking forward to cleaning up the kitchen. That anticipation makes me ponder why I procrastinate. And I think I've come up with some inner motivations.
I love creating order out of chaos. The bigger the chaos, the bigger the order seems when the chaos is dealt with. I think this is why I tend not to pick up after myself all along the way, even though I'm not really making a healthy choice. I think, "I'll pick this up later when I can do it all at once." There's my perfectionistic "all or nothing" tendency.

The underlying motivation of that procrastination, I now realize, is because creating the resulting order is really, really satisfying. I can stand back and say, "Eureka! Look at this sparkling change! What a difference I've made! Aren't I powerful and creative?!"

Of course, this is not entirely conscious at the time. Only now am I putting the puzzle pieces together of this strategy. I've seen the puzzle pieces at times but it's not been clearly pieced together

Now I see it and I wonder if it will make any difference. But the Lord makes the difference. So here's my prayer about procrastination. "Lord God Almighty, I'm so very glad that You are not a procrastinator. You always do promptly and with holy motives the things that You accomplish. I see now my motive of wanting that sense of satisfaction and power that is an unhealthy replacement for finding satisfaction and power in You. Of course, You created humans to accomplish your will and You want us to experience satisfaction in that. But Father, in this case, I'm not taking hold of your power to be self-controlled and accomplish your will in your timing. I'm being lazy in order to get a thrill from the order I create. Forgive me and give me a passion for finding my satisfaction and power in You. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you so very much that you are so fulfilling and empowering. I pray in Jesus's mighty Name. Amen."As you can see from my before and after photos, I cleaned the kitchen with the help of my little elf named Larry (my husband). Just a few moments ago, I found a dish and was SO tempted to put it on the kitchen counter so that I could put it in the dishwasher later with any other dishes that had gathered there. But instead, I rinsed it and put it immediately into the dishwasher.

Yes, there are times when we'll need to wait to load the dishwasher. But is that a part of a chronic procrastination act? If so, what is our motive?

Let me know if you can identify the motivation that undergirds any procrastination you choose. I'd love to have your input.  

I hope you had a blessed Christmas and I wish you a wonderful New Year's celebration.  

2 comments:

  1. I think I procrastinate because I feel entitled to more time to myself, and because inwardly I'm angry when others in the family are all relaxing and I still have to clean.

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  2. Thank you for commenting. I feel your pain. :-) Sure doesn't seem fair, does it? I applaud you for getting in touch and sharing your underlying motives.

    May I gently suggest you get them more involved? Or relax with them for the joy of family time, but not with the motive of anger? Or see your service as serving the Lord? I'm sure there are deeper needs, so I'm sorry for the pat answers. But I care about you and hope there can be some peace and joy in this situation. I'd love to chat more if you'd like (in a private setting).

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