Dr. James L. Snyder Ministries
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"Out to Pastor" > I’m so Itchy I Don’t Know Where to Start Scratching


10 Oct 2015

In our house, we have an ongoing debate. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage claims I am the king of procrastination.

At first, I did not quite understand what she was talking about and asked if I could get back to her on that question.

She has the idea that I put things off until the last minute, then, according to her, I’m in a panic to get it done.

I am not saying she is right; she just might have a good point there. I’ll get back to you on that.

Before I do anything, I like to give it plenty of thought, sit in my chair and meditate on that project until I really have it clearly developed in my mind from beginning to end.

The problem is my wife thinks my meditation is closer to taking a nap than meditation. She just does not understand the dynamics of meditation. Sure, when I am meditating on a project, it may seem like I am taking a nap.

It takes an awful lot of meditating on a subject for me to form a good plan. I like to know what I am going to do every step of the way and I do not like to get started until I have it completely fixed in my mind.

This is particularly true when it comes to the infamous “honey-do-list.” Sometimes that list is so long and complicated I just do not know where to start. Starting, as you well know, is the first step in getting it done.

If you do not start a project right, it will not end up right. That is the argument I try to give to my wife who counters with, “The first step in doing the project is to start doing the project.”

I am trying to get her to understand my “starting a project” begins with some deep meditation on that project. I cannot help it if that meditation period is comprehensive.

“Could it be,” my wife suggested, “that you’re so itchy you don’t know where to start to scratch?”

Well, I could not have been more offended in my life. When I am itchy I know when and where to scratch. In fact, right now I am getting a little itchy on the subject of procrastination. However, I will wait until tomorrow to do anything about it.

I must confess I do put things off at times. I learned one thing in life; sometimes when you put things off long enough, they do not need doing. I do not know how many times I tried doing something and by the time I got it done it was no longer necessary. I want to be very careful that what I start needs to be finished.

My wife, if you will permit me, is super ambitious. When a project comes to the forefront she wants to get it started and finished right away.

For example. Take Christmas shopping.

When it comes to Christmas shopping for myself, I usually wait until Christmas Eve. That is the traditional time for me to do Christmas shopping. Then, if you shop on Christmas Eve and they run out of something you can always say, “I wanted to get you this, but they were all out at the time.”

Not so for the other resident in the house. She begins Christmas shopping in the month of January. Yes, I said January!

Before we put away all the Christmas decorations she has prepared a list for next year’s Christmas gifts. I really do not know how she does it. Even while people are opening their presents, she is thinking of what to get them next year.

Land sakes alive!

Sitting around the Christmas tree opening our presents, I am literally amazed at some of the gifts. I never would have thought somebody would want the present my wife bought. They all thank her and are appreciative and do not know how she knows exactly what they want.

I well remember when we first got married and the first time I took her grocery shopping, I was stunned. I had never gone grocery shopping in my life.

We got a shopping cart and she began piling that shopping cart full of food. I noticed she had a two-page list of groceries that she needed to buy and little by little she cross them off.

When we got to the counter, we had a shopping cart and a half of groceries and the person behind the counter just stared with open mouth.

What my wife had done, and I have never seen it before, she bought groceries for the entire month. How did she know what we would be eating for a month?

Her motto is simply, “Never put off buying tomorrow what you can buy today.”

As the cashier was ringing up the groceries, she would sneak a glance and smile at me. It finally dawned on me what she was smiling about. Not my good looks. But my checkbook that was going to have to pay for all of these groceries. I did not see that coming.

I was reminded of what Solomon said. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Procrastination never scratches where it really itches.