It was such a relief when I first learned that there were basically two categories of personality: Type “A” and Type “B”.
You know the Type “A” folks. They are restless, throbbing bundles of power pulsating with nervous energy, they eat ADHD for breakfast, they have to-do lists, they are super organized, they plan two years ahead for everything, they can’t sleep at night because they didn’t finish the last item on the list, they’ve just thought of something they didn’t think of …! They are the multi-taskers, supreme jugglers of opportunities. They are the “do”-ers, the movers and the shakers. They are like Larry the Cable Guy — “let’s git ‘er done”!
I know all about this because I am married to a type-A personality and I drive her crazy because I am, (wait for it!), Type “B”!
I said it was a relief to find out about that personality type, because up until then I thought I was just lazy! Type “B” folks like me like to think things through before forming opinions, we try to gather all available facts before making a decision, we never put off until tomorrow what we can put off today! We try not to use more words than necessary. We are comfortable with uncomfortable silence. We don’t like large gatherings without purpose.
Should you ever want me to produce a project for you, you will need to provide me with a deadline. I sometimes say I do my best work under pressure, and I’m fixin’ to do some great work (I lived in the Southern United States for a decade, so I come by droppin’ the “g” on participles honestly!)
I surprised one of my Type A friends the other day by telling her that I thought Jesus was a proponent of procrastination! Having made an assertion as outrageous as that, she asked me to put scripture where my mouth was — so let’s look at what Jesus had to say on the matter.
I started by quoting Matthew 6:34
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Sorry if I come off as a dinosaur for quoting King James’ translation, but that’s originally how I memorized scripture! Here is that same verse but in a modern translation: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34 NLT
Someone has said that worry is a fear of things that haven’t and probably won’t happen! Save your fear for real and tangible threats!
Jesus’ disciples were always in a hurry to get on with “Messiah” stuff, but Jesus frequently told them to “cool their jets”, because “His time had not yet come”.
For example, let’s look at John 7:1-7 NLT — “After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.”
This idea that God has His own timetable for events that maximizes His glory is pervasive in all of Scripture:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” 1 Peter 5:6 NLT
“And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone.” Titus 1:3 NLT
“He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.” 1 Timothy 2:6 NLT
“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:6 NLT
So, it is obvious that the right time is God’s time, and all our fretting and fussing is only destined to result in frustration and confusion.
Don’t get me wrong! There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes again) and there is a time to take action and a time to do stuff, but if we’re not doing it according to God’s timing we’re just getting in the way!
Jesus’ mom got it right at the wedding party in Cana:
The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11 NLT
Mary’s advice and instruction is good for us, whether we are Type “A” or “B” kind of people, “do whatever He tells you”. He will get the timing right, so may I suggest you procrastinate on your plans until He gives the signal to execute His?
“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage meaning, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” Don’t be anxious to have God endorse your plans, plan to fit in with His! Life will be so much more enjoyable.
Now that I’ve got this column off my “to-do” list I’m off to smell the roses! That’s the Type “B” behavior.
Blessings on you and yours, Jim Black
P.S. if you’d like to read previous ruminations of mine they can be found at https://www.salvationarmyconcordca.org/chronicle/?category=Bible%20Study