Today: April 17 2019
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Tags: Religion, Christianity

Why to postpone for tomorrow what needs to be done today is not just a bad habit, but something much more?

The procrastinator, or the victim

St. Theophan the Recluse in the book "The Way to Salvation" examines the question of why a person who has already turned to repentance and realized the need to change his life does not manage to do it all the same. And in particular he says that the enemy of the human race has such a principle: as long as it is possible to keep a person in a state of euthanasia, he will support this position with all sorts of tricks. He will convince his "ward" that he lives in general normal, "humanly", and maybe even almost selflessly. And if the "object" has started and is ready to disengage from the leash, a simple but proven method is used: the devil inspires the Christian that, of course, it is necessary to change something in his life, and it will be good, but do not start spontaneously now - it is much better to do all this tomorrow. And the person calms down on this: on the one hand, in his imagination he already defeated himself and embarked on the path of correction, on the other - it is sweet because he has at least another 24 hours to do nothing.

And what happens after these days? Perhaps, it's best to illustrate one of the stories about Khoja Nasreddin. Once, when creditors came to this clever hero, from whom he was hiding, he sent his young son to them for talks. The boy returned and, pleased with himself, said that he had agreed with the creditors to postpone for a year. However, Khoja did not praise him for it, but reproached him: "Oh, you! It was necessary to say: "Come tomorrow." You understand, son, the year will pass, and "tomorrow" will always remain "tomorrow", no matter how many times you say it. "

Similarly, this "tomorrow" does not come for us, if we do not dare to start a change in ourselves today. And if you imagine how many important, wonderful things people did not do in their lives just because they were postponed from time to time, then one can be horrified: if this delay were not for the moment, life would be completely different.

So the person asked us for help, but not emergency, and we are all too busy, and then already awkwardly in front of him - and now we force ourselves to finally get to this problem, and we are told: "No, no, no longer." And we understand that this was important for a person, but now nothing has changed, he has drawn his conclusions. Or we were going to call and just listen, to support someone - the elderly, sick, lonely, and when they finally got together, they heard only long beeps in the tube, because the person had already gone into a different life. About such moments, conscience can remind us afterwards for decades, and the saddest thing will be that not all difficult circumstances for us served this cause, but simply our habit of not doing on time what we could quite do.

Delay weakens the will - and at a critical moment a person is no longer able to assemble it

There is such a fashionable word today: procrastination. But I prefer the similar Russian word "delay" - so the meaning clears up and everything falls into place. It would seem, so what? There are even people who flaunt their tendency to put off everything at the last moment. But the delay has the property of weakening the will-and can weaken it so much that a person is already incapable of assembling at a critical point.

Elementary everyday example: students receive the theme of the thesis. Someone starts to write at once in September, someone - in January, someone swings only by March, and someone forces himself to think about it only in April, and the realization that nothing has been done is erecting before him such an unassailable wall that for the remaining two months a person spends a stupor some kind and then is expelled from the university - with the thought that this task turned out to be beyond his power. But it was not required anything supernatural, and even for the rest of the time, having ceased to postpone, with this task, although probably not in the best way, but it was possible to cope.

There are a lot of people who always have a mountain of dirty dishes at home, because they do not consider it necessary to wash it immediately after they have eaten. Nothing hinders, but somehow laziness and "sweat". "Then" once, "then" two, and then in the apartment there are no clean utensils left. I even happened to somehow meet a man who in the end just threw away all the dirty dishes and switched to a disposable plastic. This, of course, is an extreme example, but it is necessary to understand how these "innocent weaknesses" can bring us.

"Trigger zones" of the human soul

Country lazy people. Peter Brueghel

But I considered it necessary to give all these external examples first of all in order to illustrate the spiritual illness. This disease is most clearly manifested in us when it comes to those changes without which it becomes impossible for us to move forward to God. When a person comes to the Church, this movement starts towards God, it lasts for a while, but sooner or later we face an obstacle - with something that we find it extremely difficult to refuse. This, as a rule, is no longer any gross sins and vices - from them, paradoxically, as against all other things, it is easier to refuse, because they are clearly destroying a person and he feels this harm. But more subtle sinful habits and passions can possess the soul as if imperceptibly.

In the Gospel it is not accidental given the image of the narrow gates: the more a person goes after Christ, the more narrow his path. Narrows in the sense that he starts something in himself for these narrow doors to hurt. But it seems impossible to cut it off from oneself: it is perceived as "one's own", as an integral part of one's own life, even as part of one's own nature, and a person in the depths of his heart says to himself: "Not today." But everything is more complicated here than with the procrastination of everyday life: a Christian may not fully realize that he is putting something off, - rather, to shield this awareness from oneself. And none of the neighbors will tell him about this, because only the person and the Lord see the content of his heart. And in his church life, too, there seems to be no change for the worse, but for him, it becomes somehow everyday, boring. Someone searches for this external explanation, someone writes it off on their subjective sensations, but in fact the reason lies in the person's life - in his relationship to God.

And here it is useful to turn to such an analogy from the field of medicine. When a person comes to a massage therapist, he quickly finds on his body trigger points - places that react with pain when you touch them. And maybe we'll even cry out in pain, but he will stretch these points. Such "trigger zones" - areas of pathological tension - are formed in the human soul. And we need to understand that the more painful and harder it is for us to touch something, the more important it is to go to this pain, to carry it to God and do what we have to do in order to get rid of it.

Promise for a day and nothing to be in time

In that, which is given to us most difficultly, and our illness lies, we will pay attention to this

Almost the same can be said not only about pain, but also in general about our Christian life - about what fills it. Each of us has something that is easily given to us in the life of the church, but there are other things that are given, on the contrary, very, very difficult. It depends on individual human characteristics. One is easy to be restrained in words, because he is silent, but completely, for example, can not fast, because he very much likes to eat deliciously. There are people who can easily help others, because they are sociable and hardworking - but they go into this activity with their heads, so there is no time for prayer either. And the person is ready to not sleep at night, is ready to perform any kind of instructions, just not to pray - "do not have time" to read the rule, the Holy Scripture, the Psalter. And you just have to stop it all and admit to yourself: I do a lot of things, but something is wrong with me - so much so that it's difficult for me to stay quietly alone with God for fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes. And immediately, without delay, start this difficult to do in yourself, overcome yourself.

Or the opposite example: a person does not like to work, and he is ready to get a swallow day and night, just to keep your finger on the finger. And you can find a lot of "pious" excuses, but the essence will remain the same: in what is given to us the hardest, our illness lies. And if we run from the most difficult work, we will never move from the dead point and, most likely, even we will turn back.

Loser - neglecting small

It is hard for a man to take big steps, and even more so jumps, let alone flights. But the small is in our hands. And in order to get rid of the constant agonizing postponing for tomorrow something big, sometimes it is enough not to neglect the small. Everything great consists of small things. When we look at people who have achieved something in life, we sometimes feel a great distance. But it was not formed in some mysterious way - it was just that these people did not pass, inside or outside, past what we pass by. Conversely, people who have a lot of life in their life, they believe, unsuccessfully - these are those who almost always can not agree that some little thing, which they right now do not want to pay attention to or, on the contrary, the whole being resisting God, keep, prevents them from stepping on the bridge, which will lead them to the desired result. In fact, it is very important to remove even the seemingly insignificant obstacles that prevent us from being with God.

However, if a person in the realization of this kind desire will stand in the first place for himself, he is unlikely to succeed. It is necessary to turn your gaze from yourself - to Christ, to abolish your plans for "tomorrow" and "the day after tomorrow" and be ready to let Him into your heart now, today. Then we will feel how grace works and how the Lord begins to act in us.

Abbot Nectarios (Morozov)
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