Hate to Admit It, But I Procrastinate, too!
The newest best friend of everyone today, especially college students, is procrastination. I usually try to do everything on time. Typically, I am that one student that has her research paper done one month before the due date, but, sometimes, even I slip up.
This semester, I just kept putting things off. I would tell myself, “Oh, well, I can do it tomorrow.” Unfortunately, if you keep telling yourself tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, the due date is eventually tomorrow. I had a big research paper due this past Thursday for my middle childhood developmental class. My topic was on how immigration affected the emotional development of female children. It was a topic familiar to me since I had gone through the experience of immigration myself. Even more of a reason to keep saying tomorrow, right?
Well, not quite right. Before I knew it, the due date was tomorrow, and there I was sitting in front of my computer with a pile of books scattered all over my floor, two pages typed up, an APA formatting manual in my lap, a Starbucks coffee cup by my side, and tears in my eyes. It was too much; I was overwhelmed. I had finished two pages and had six more to go. IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE!
I sat there for a while with tears in my eyes, and then I looked up and saw my icon corner (more of an icon wall, if you ask me- i.e., I have an icon obsession). I looked at my icons, and I just cried even more. Then, I told myself that this was my own fault. I had chosen to procrastinate, and now I was in this highly stressful situation.
I stared at the icon of the Mother of God. Her eyes always calm me down. They did so again. I collected myself, and I asked God to help me through this, even though I knew fully well that I did not deserve His help.
But, God is merciful, and He had mercy on me. I managed to finish the paper, and I went far beyond the requirement of eight pages. Glory be to God, that was over and done with! After class, I went straight to bed and before work, I went to the church for about fifteen minutes. Upon entering the church, the smell of incense hit me. Tears streamed down my face, and my whole heart felt relieved. I knew that from then on I had to stop procrastinating.
St.Mark the Ascetic wrote:
So, when we are humbled and shattered, and keep in mind possession of Christ’s humiliation, what anger, wrath or bitterness can take possession of us? But when forgetfulness of these life-creating truths is accompanied by the sister vices of laziness and ignorance, then these three oppressive and deep-seated passions of the soul, hard to discover and correct, overlay and darken us with terrible futility.
I do not want to feel that pressure, the stress, and the hopelessness, especially the hopelessness, coming over me again. From now on, I pray that God always reminds me of His humiliation and of the darkness one can feel when one strays away from God’s path even for something as little as a school paper. So, ask yourself, have you procrastinated too? How did it make you feel, and should we as Orthodox Christians procrastinate on our path to salvation?