I want to start smoking, but I keep putting it off.
No, it’s not my 2022 Resolution, but after our basement flooded on New Year’s Day, I considered it. Honestly, I fold under any sort of guilt, and the known effects of secondhand smoke deter me from lighting up (for now). Oh, but when I’m good and old, maybe you’ll find me at the end of our long driveway, in a slow, steady rocker. I’ll be chain smoking and sipping coffee, probably talking to my cat about what’s wrong with the world, and how it all started to tailspin around 2020.
It’s an exaggerated, joking example about me and smoking, but I’ve been in a pattern of putting off for as long as I can remember. Once “X” happens, I will do “Y.” I’ll start an exercise regimen on Monday or after the holidays…. I’ll join the ladies group when I have more time…. I’ll tithe when I have an abundance of money…. I’ll follow Jesus when I have my life together.
I’m anything but a procrastinator when it comes to the ordinary tasks of daily life. The dishes are washed before dessert has been served, and my Christmas shopping was done in July. However, I’m the first to postpone the “extra,” those things that don’t produce immediate, visible results. I excuse it because life is happening—global pandemics, unprecedented storms, unpredictable politics—or maybe whatever I tried just didn’t pan out the last time.
Our crooked overseers, Sin and Satan, keep us dwelling on our past or daydreaming about the future, but never in actual action. But as children of Christ, we are called to be like the “living water.”
Living water. It’s what Jesus offered the woman at the well. It’s what He offered the crowd around the Temple in John 7. It’s what He promises each of us now, living water to quench our thirst for truth, peace, and real happiness, our thirst and desire for God.
I grew up a flat rock’s skid from the Ohio River, and we crossed it for everything from pizza to tennis lessons. The river, muddy and murky as it was, never stopped flowing as our van rattled over the rusty bridge. The river was always pushing forward, always affecting the barges, dams, and few boats. Much the same, we are called to persevere: to love and serve our neighbor, to affect the world around us. We must stop putting off today what we say we’ll do in the future. We can’t serve God in the past, and there is no promise that we can serve The Kingdom tomorrow. God desires our worship and obedience now.
Breaking a habit is hard. That’s reason enough for me to never pick up a pack of Lucky Strikes. It’s also why I must be intentional about ending the procrastination and living purposefully for Christ today. In 2022, I’m asking the Lord to help me make prayer a priority, to teach me to trust Him, to guide my steps advocating for life, and to show me how to best love my family.
Living water. Jesus is with us, friends, making streams of new life and hope in circumstances that can sometimes seem like a wasteland… or in my case, a flooded basement. Happy New Year!