OUT TO PASTOR: Slow is just the way I go

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By Dr. James L. Snyder

One of the main complaints in the Parsonage has to do with my procrastination. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage often refers to me as, Sir Procrastinator, as if it was a bad thing.

Anything that needs doing in our house, my wife is the first one to jump up and try to do it. She fixes things before they are even broken. How she does that, I will never know. It is a wife thing.

I, on the other hand, am slower than a politician trying to explain him or herself. For some reason, I was born in no hurry and that has been my motto all of my life. I am really not in a hurry for anything.

I take my time, relax whenever possible and just do not get excited about anything. I have found out that when I get excited about something and want to go fast forward, I always get into trouble. Trouble has become my middle name in this regard.

As a child, my parents wanted me to speed up and get things done quickly. I never could figure out why. Very few things need to be done in a speedy order.

I just do not have the energy, these days, to hurry up and get something done.

Last year, for example, the doctor gave me a little package to take home that I was supposed to put in a personal “sample” and send to the company. Certainly, I meant to do it as soon as I got home. But I took the slow way home, stopped and got a delicious banana split. I can only get these banana splits when I am driving by myself, for the other companion in our home has strict laws about such “nonsense,” as she calls it.

I actually enjoyed my “nonsense” very much.

When I got home, however, I had forgotten about the box in which I was supposed to put in my “sample” and send to the company. I put it somewhere and I just forgot about it.

“When,” my wife said, “are you going to take care of that and send it in?”

I almost said, “When pigs fly.” But because I was slow in getting that phrase out, it never got out. Of course, I am so glad I was slow in that regard.

Sometimes being slow has its rewards. Some people say being fast has its rewards. I would not know about that personally.

Several months went by. “Did you send that package in?”

“What package?” I said.

Then she reminded me of that package and that I had to send in my “sample” for the doctor had ordered it.

Doctors! What do they really know? After all, they are only “practicing” medicine. When they get it to perfection, then maybe I’ll believe them.

Several mornings when I would get up, I would hear the question, “Are you going to take care of what you’re supposed to do?”

I really meant to do it, but procrastination is the name of the game I play. I do not mean to play it that way, it just happens.

And it is not that I do not have a good memory. I do have a good memory in fact, I have locked several sections of my memory to save for when I get old. I will use that memory when I need it.

“You know,” argued my wife, “you’re not doing yourself any favors by putting this off. Why don’t you do it today?”

Finally, and I am not sure what motivated me to do it, but I did do the process and got my “sample” and mailed it to the company.

My wife was happy when she heard that I did it and said, “Now, don’t you feel good?”

I had to smile at her, but I really did not feel good. I really did not feel anything.

Several weeks later, I got a letter in the mail from the company where I sent my “sample.” I was not sure what they were writing to me about. At first, I thought maybe something went wrong and I was in a lot of trouble.

Slowly, I opened the envelope and found inside a letter thanking me and it included a $50 gift card. I could not believe what I just saw.

I could not wait for my wife to get home so I could share with her my good news.

I gave her the letter with the gift card and said, “I guess it really does pay to procrastinate.”

She looked at the gift card and then looked up at me and said, “I did not know your ‘sample’ was worth that much money.”

“Well,” I said rather sarcastically, “now you know.”

It only proved to me that sometimes procrastination does pay off. Sometimes when you jump into a problem or circumstance, you pay dearly for it. And sometimes, like my “sample” when you procrastinate you get paid.

I then reminded my wife of what King David said. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

Of course, the key here is not waiting, but who you are waiting on. I like to procrastinate until I really know what God wants me to do. Sometimes it takes longer than I figured, but when I wait, I am never disappointed.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, in Ocala, Florida. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.

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