My wife and I have a small group that I lead at our campus. It sounds more noble than it is. We stumbled into leading it, to be honest, but we truly love the people we're with in the group. They're all having kids, moving around, parenting, making a difference in the community in various ways. Big picture: it's a joy.
But it meets on Sunday evenings. And on Sunday evenings, I can think up five or six excuses as to why we should cancel small group...
In the first place, I'm a pastor, and the only day I work is on Sunday, so I work really really hard on Sundays. So hard, that by 2pm, I'm exhausted and I need a break.
Usually someone's out of town.
I just saw them all at church just a few hours ago.
My kids didn't nap today, so they're cra-cra...
My friend's kids didn't nap, and I don't hang out with their kids when they don't nap.
Football season is only here for 17 weeks.
These are lame excuses. I always find when I ignore the excuses, hanging with other families that want to But I find it's the important things in life, the things that make our lives count that I'm tempted to short-change with lame excuses.
I was preaching through Ecclesiastes 11 this past weekend at Bethel, and these verses really cut to the heart of how we make our lives count...
The picture is one of a farmer standing in his field in the springtime, wondering what the wind looks like, and if today is a good day to sow seed. Too much wind and the seed won’t be scattered properly. There’s a lot of money in a bag of seed, no farmer can afford to just waste it. So the question is "Is the timing right?"
But then we also see the same farmer at harvest time, looking out at the crops that need to be collected, and they look up at the clouds and wonder if the weather will rain or not, if they should harvest now or later, and they delay because conditions are not quite right.
These are excuses for why we procrastinate our responsibilities, or even worse, are paralyzed by fear. Solomon's encouragement to us is to ignore the excuses. You want to make your life count? Act when the circumstances around you aren't ideal. Take a bit of a risk. Get done what needs to get done, regardless of the storms around you.
If you wonder, "Will it rain? Is it going to be better tomorrow? Today is inconvenient…" then you are acting like a fool who thinks he knows when the right conditions will come. Acknowledge that circumstances are outside of your control, and the right moment might not come. And get busy.
Are you one decision away from a great work? Then make the decision to ignore the excuses and get after it.