Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
TITLE: Breaking the Drought.
By Karen Vlantis
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Engrossed in her phone, Liz muttered, “Rain is forecast.”
Gina mused, “It’s high time this drought was broken.”
Gina studied her daughter slumped on the couch, I wish she wouldn’t waste her life on that phone of hers. Lord, help her to see that squandered time is killing her dreams.
A loud crack resounded from the patio as the wind blustered and flicked the awning upwards. Gina diverted her attention and stood riveted: dust particles exploded into life as gusts swirled along the ground; leaves untethered and cartwheeled to freedom as wind pummeled the bushes.
The fission of energy released a jolt of excitement in Gina’s heart. Enthralled, she pleaded, “C’mon rain. C'mon!”
Gina beseeched the wind as it danced and teased, “C'mon, c’mon. Break the drought.”
She begged, “C’mon wind, produce the goods!”
Her shoulders slumped, “So much promise - just no delivery.”
The wind shouted and gestured.
Gina bawled, “Lots and lots of drama! But NO RAIN!”
Liz glanced up from her phone and observed the clouds swallow up the bay as they descended over the water, “Sounds a bit like me.”
“Oh, Lizzie! You’re not a drama queen.”
Liz chuckled, “I wasn’t referring to the drama-drama. I’m referring to the empty promises.”
Gina cocked her head.
“I make all these vows to myself – but never follow through. I struggle with procrastination.”
Gina chuckled, “I used to be the queen of procrastination, but I learned a long time ago from wise old Solomon - ‘Whoever watches the wind will not sow; whoever watches the clouds will not reap’.”
Liz frowned, “What does that mean?”
Gina looked at her daughter, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
Liz slumped, “I’ve tried to follow all the steps to overcome procrastination… but as soon as I’ve finished my ‘To Do’ list AND set deadlines AND given myself a pep-talk… I run out of steam and go straight back to procrastinating.”
Gina laughed, “I echo that! I studied all the secular self-help books and found they made no difference.”
Liz threw her hands up.
Gina smiled, “I stumbled across a biblical perspective on time and procrastination. Time is a strategic battleground in spiritual warfare. God wants us to use time wisely and Satan wants us to waste it.”
Liz sat up and leaned forward, “Ohhhh…. I hadn’t thought about that.”
“As I see it, we are born into time, but there will come a day when we step out of time and into eternity. While we are on earth, we need to take each moment of time and convert it into something that has eternal value.”
Liz’s eyes twinkled, “Ooh! Like an alchemist?”
“Well, yes! The miraculous is involved in the exchange between what we do here and now and how it counts towards eternity.”
“Each morning as I consult my daily list, I ask God for His viewpoint and priorities. If I catch myself avoiding a task or activity, I determine WHY I am procrastinating. There is not just one underlying cause for procrastination... sometimes it may be laziness, other times to avoid negative feelings. I remember dillydallying for weeks due to resentment.”
Liz sparked, “Resentment? Maybe that’s my problem. I loathe doing things if I feel forced into doing them!”
Gina regarded her daughter lovingly, “No, I think perfectionism is often your battle.”
Liz furrowed her eyebrows, “Perfectionism?”
“I’ve noticed that sometimes you feel you don’t have enough time to complete something perfectly – so you avoid starting it altogether; other times you believe that you need large chunks of uninterrupted time – so again you don’t commence... and then at other times you launch into things at the last minute and then excuse lackluster outcomes by blaming shortage of time.“
Liz squirmed, “I know I’m not meant to, but I DO take my work personally. I hate producing sub-standard work.”
“Lizzie, your significance and worth is not found in performance or achievements – but rather in Christ.”
“And from my experience, the longer you leave things the more anxiety you experience.”
Liz jumped up, “I’ve an hour before dinner... I’m gonna start that painting.”
Gina beamed and glanced outside: The trees stood tall. The wind had dropped.
Calm: No rain! Nothing!
Plop... plop... plop.
Single plops gained momentum. The downpour crescendoed. Bucket loads of water crashed down from the heavens.
Answered prayer: The drought was broken!
“Thank you Lord.”
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