“Today, let us repent, while it is still called ‘today.’”
I hear these words, and I stand convicted. I am such a horrid procrastinator. So often I take a task given to me to be done in due time, only to shove it aside for a later time, which may or may not ever actually come. I do this for a number of reasons, and give an even greater number of excuses to try and justify it. I know that it is bad, wrong, even sinful. Yet, I continue to do it.
This tendency has plagued me most of my life. Not only in school, but in life itself. How often do I put off the act of repentance? How many times do I linger in behaviors, mindsets, motivations which I know to be detrimental to my spiritual health, simply because I don’t want to bother myself with looking into my heart and making the necessary changes? Countless times, I’m sure.
Of course, there is another task which frequently lacks proper and timely action from me. Christ commands us, “Love one another as I have loved you.” This is a wholly unconditional statement. It makes no accomodations as to the type of person we are to love, when we are to love, or how often we are to love. But, I so often fail to recognize this.
Sure, I’m eagerly loving toward my friends—they mean everything to me. I say “I love you” much of the time, and I try to show it whenever I think to (which, granted, is not as much as I should). For words and love don’t mean anything; actions and love mean everything (cf. 1 John 3:18). Yet, why do I not do it as eagerly toward coworkers, instructors, fellow students, and the nameless people whom I pass every day? Why do I put off the task of loving my neighbor simply because it’s not convenient?
And, it’s shameful to say that it’s not convenient, but that’s how I see it. That is to say that it must not be, or I’d do it. My whole life is built around convenience for myself, as is the life of many a person living in this bent world in which we do.
Being kind to others is fairly easy (though, not always) when you work a position in a retail business, where your job requires interacting with people and seeing that they have a good experience. I always felt good when people told me that I had made them smile or had otherwise brightened a crummy day. Not because I felt high and mighty. Rather, I just liked knowing they felt better than they had when they entered the store. Sadly, I rarely take the same attitude toward the people from whom I will never hear regarding how an encounter with me affected their day.
And it’s not complex at all. Simply a caring glance, an encouraging word, or a smile could make all the difference in an interaction, however brief that interaction may be.
Though, in the end, it’s not just for them that I should do it. It affects me, too. By taking the time…sometimes mere seconds…to demonstrate genuine love and concern for someone, I draw closer to the God in whose image those people are made, and my icy heart is melted just a little more.