Delay: cause to be slowed down or delayed; act later than planned, scheduled, or required; stay; stop or halt.
Have you ever been traveling somewhere by plane? It’s always a hassle because you have to be at the airport two or more hours before your flight takes off and you have to find someone to take you there (and pick you up, hopefully) or park your car and pay outrageous fees for it to sit there and collect bird poo. Once you’ve secured a ride and arrived at the airport, you check your bags and hope that it’s under the weight limit and will end up in the same destination that you do. You take shuttles and trams to your gate and when you finally arrive with plenty of time to spare, you see those terrible terrible words: FLIGHT DELAYED.
What? Delayed? How can this be? The simple truth is that somewhere along the line someone got held up or something broke, thus resulting in your delayed flight. Of course, you assume it’s because some evil airline pilot is out to get you, which is rarely the case, but regardless, you are pretty ticked off at this delayed flight. Now you’re going to be inconvenienced and your entire schedule will need to be rearranged. Preposterous.
But…have you ever purposely dragged behind so you could delay doing something? A social gathering, a presentation, a class, homework, anything? Of course you have. We all do. Rarely will someone look forward to an unpleasant event, say, a root canal, with excitement. We, as humans, do not like being uncomfortable and do not like being pulled out of our comfort zones. Even more so in America, we don’t like being inconvenienced. So when our flight is delayed, or an important piece of mail gets held up, or we’re stuck in traffic, or for some reason we’re delayed from going about our typical daily business, we get a little ruffled.
But we have no problem delaying someone else.
How many times has God told you to go talk to this person, go sit next to that person, help that family whose mother is sick, give to this ministry, give that person a ride, volunteer for that outreach ect, all these things to help further the Kingdom of God…..and you delay.
“I’ll do it next week.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“I don’t have the resources.”
Weak. Every one of those is a weak excuse. Why would the God of the universe, the One who holds all things in His hands, ask you to do something if He wasn’t going to help you? That doesn’t mean you’ll find success in all that you do for Him, but that’s okay. He doesn’t call us to be successful, He just calls us to be obedient.
Delay is a dangerous thing. When your flight is delayed, do you begin to feel anxious and hurried? The same thing happens in real life. Life is short. Severely short. And when we delay doing the things God asks of us, that time is shortened even more. We do not have the liberty to delay.
Just recently, I was made aware of my habit of delaying by someone who doesn’t delay. It hit me hard. I push things off all the time, for the same weak excuses that everyone else gives. And I’ve seen time shorten before my eyes. I’ve decided I won’t let that happen again. When God tells me to reach out to someone, I’m going to do it in His time. That doesn’t mean I won’t be scared or I won’t mess up. I will. But I know my God just wants me to be obedient. His Spirit is more than enough to make up for my short comings. And I know I can’t afford to delay any longer.
“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7b