Back in college I prided myself on being able to procrastinate assignments until the last minute and then pull out my magic wand (also known as an all-nighter) and bring home a win. I actually prided myself on being a professional procrastinator!
Then I got older, my metabolism shifted — more than once, I think — and now I just can’t go late night after late night. My body cries out for sleep!
I also find it easier to hearken to that siren voice tempting me to seek instant gratification now at the expense of more worthwhile pursuits. Whenever I succumb, I’ll eventually look around and ask, “How did I end up here, so far beneath what I intended to accomplish?” Procrastination is truly the thief of life.
It’s normal to play the grasshopper fiddling away the summer while the ants labor to prepare for winter. Playing the grasshopper is easy. Playing the part of the ant takes self-discipline and dedication — in short, hard work.
We encounter these struggles with everything in life, including how we live the gospel. For many, being active in the gospel is little more than following a script, a set routine that repeats itself over and over again. But you can’t live life fully on autopilot. Living your best life requires you to choose consciously. That’s the only way you can get real.
I’ve spoken time and again about our need to partner with the Lord. If you read those words, you probably think they sound right. But you won’t actually feel their rightness until you live them.
It’s easy to think, “Yeah, I know that’s what I should do. But I’ll do it tomorrow.” That’s the voice of procrastination inviting us along the easy path leading us far beneath what we intend to accomplish.
That’s not the path we extol when we sing, “I need thee every hour.” Every hour includes all the time yet to come tomorrow and all the time we live right now. Is there ever really a time when we don’t need the Lord? Why then wait to partner with Him?
Yes, living life consciously is hard. Resisting that natural tendency to let our autopilot coast us along is hard. But if we do what is easy, life will be hard.
Don’t let any single tomorrow rob you of the fulfillment you could enjoy today. Partner with the Lord now.
Visit your default future
Often it’s easy to procrastinate until tomorrow what we should do today because the cares of the present moment obscure our view of reality. Visiting our default future cuts through those clouds, allowing us to see more clearly and choose more wisely.
Your default future is the one you’ll have if nothing changes. If you keep doing what you’re doing, where will you end up? That is your default future.
What is our default future if we don’t partner with the Lord now? Where does that path lead us? The Lord Himself informs us.
Our default future will be suffering with unmet needs, suffering we can prevent today by partnering with the Lord now and taking counsel from His hand.
Do it now
If we do what is easy, life will be hard. But if we do what is hard, life will be easy. If we partner now with the Lord, do the work required to receive the revelation that can guide our lives, and then follow that counsel, our lives will be easy.
In that scenario, our default future will still be one filled with challenges. But the burden of facing those challenges alone will be lifted from our shoulders. We will have strength to take each next step in our journey. And we will find joy in each of those steps.
Alma the Younger counseled his son,
Partnering with the Lord means He’ll direct us for good, so of course we’ll be lifted up at the last day if we stay on that path. And the best time to start down that path is right now.
Partnering with the Lord now while we’re single will makes it easier to partner with Him when we’re married, because He’ll guide us to that companion we need, one with whom partnering with the Lord is easier. That will make partnering with the Lord even easier when the children come along — and oh, how you will need Him when the children come along!
Don’t let any single tomorrow rob you of the fulfillment you could enjoy today. Partner with the Lord now, and let His counsel light your way. If you do only what is easy, your life will be hard. But if you do what is hard, your life will be easy. And that will bring more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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