The Folly of Tomorrow

getting started progress Nov 22, 2020

Earlier this year, I got on the roof of my house to install brackets for an awning. When I was up there, I noticed that the asphalt caps on my roof were cracked and decayed. Months have passed since I looked at them so I am not sure of their current condition. But one thing I am sure of: the condition of the shingles hasn't improved.

Entropy is a fixed law of nature. When things are left alone, they break down and decay. It's true of things in nature and our physical bodies. It takes energy and effort to maintain or improve them. Our non-material lives are no different; without work, they don't improve, they decay. Things left alone won't be better tomorrow. They will be worse.

You may be facing an uncertain future. Perhaps you have been caught in your addictive behavior and suddenly realize that your life has become unmanageable. You have awakened to the fact that meaningful relationships are on the verge of breaking up. Or maybe you have confessed to your spouse and feel that a heavy burden has been lifted. Maybe you have attended your first 12-step meeting and are trying to determine the path forward.

The worse thing you can do is nothing. Why?

Things don't get better by themselves

My roof won't get better by itself. I will have to get on the roof, measure the affected area, go buy materials, find my tools, tear off the old caps, install the new ones, etc. I may even need to get some instruction along the way. Or I may decide to put financial energy into it and hire someone to do the work.

Your recovery is going to take energy and effort. It is not going to happen by itself. If you don't start today, things will be worse tomorrow. No, you are not an exception; entropy is a law. You may not know what the whole process will look like, but you can start with the first step. If you have taken the first step, don't wait, start the second step. If you don't know what the second step is, keep on working on the first step.

It will never be easier to start than now

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2b, emphasis added).

If someone asked you when they should be saved, what would you say? Right now! Not tomorrow, someday, or on their deathbed. Why? Tomorrow is not guaranteed. The only time we are sure of is now!

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1).

There is no better time to quit a bad habit than today. It will be harder tomorrow. Each day that you wait will make the habit more entrenched and make recovery a little bit harder. Don't wait. There is no magic pill or cure in your future. Disappointment and heartache await you if you do nothing.

While you wait, others aren't standing still

When I took a passive, neutral attitude to my recovery, important people in my life were not standing still. My wife was actively moving away from me in her heart. While I was "coasting," her heart was steadily getting colder and harder toward me. She was making plans and taking steps to divorce me. She was sick of the lies, deceit, and half-hearted efforts on my part towards sobriety and recovery. Who could blame her? She had gone way above and beyond in her efforts to love and support me for nearly 35 years. Others were moving away from me as well. Unlike me, they weren't standing still.

Will I wait until the roof starts leaking and does serious damage to my house before I fix it? Will you wait to aggressively move forward in your recovery until your life is destroyed beyond repair?

Don't wait. Waiting won't make things better tomorrow. Don't let your past "success" of getting away with your behavior and "patching things up" later deceive you. Don't trample on the mercy and grace of God. There is always a day of reckoning. There are things to lose that you can never get back.

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy (Proverbs 29:1, emphasis added).

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