Monday, September 10, 2007

Are you in a holding pattern?

I’ve been staring at blue painters tape for weeks. Over a month ago I taped off every piece of molding in the house and have slowly and painfully been painting it. Saturday I bit the bullet and made a big dent in finishing the job. (Not quite done, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.)

After successfully (and rather painlessly) finishing one window I found myself in a holding pattern. I was ready to quit, but knew I shouldn’t. I stood there staring at the next door frame deliberating. I knew the steps in the process, but for about 10 minutes I stood there and tried to convince myself either 1) I could skip steps (sanding, taping hinges, moving drop cloths) or 2) I should quit for the day.

Finally I said to myself, “Sarah, just do it.”

In life we often find ourselves in “holding patterns”. (Especially if we are prone to procrastination!) We want more time to think about what to say to the friend who hurt us. We want more time to pray about a decision. Whether it is a financial hurdle or a health issue, we want more time to read, learn, and understand the problem before we tackle it. We want to buy another book on the subject, consult another expert, before we implement change. So we stall.

But often times we are just looking for an easier way out. If I don’t know (years later) what to say to that friend who hurt me, I just need to start the conversation. If it is decision time, I need to trust God and make it. If I’ve made a concerted effort to understand the situation, I should act. I don’t need another book, more advice, more time, or more deliberation. I just need more courage, and sometimes more self discipline.

I am notorious for hitting snooze on my morning alarm. Sometimes I find myself hitting it in life too. But hitting snooze only delays the inevitable. I still have to get up and face the morning. I still need to confront, converse, forgive, confess, act, trust, and move forward.

Is there something you’ve been stalling on? Do you feel like you’re in a holding pattern? Say a (brief) prayer, take courage, and act!

Today may we all end the holding pattern, abandon the snooze button and surrender the stalling tactics. Let us live the life God calls us to right now.

Now I need to get back to taking my own advice (ouch!). It is time to act.

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