When I was younger, I spent a lot of time online searching for motivational videos. I was desperate to stop my bad habit of procrastinating with homework and I wanted some YouTube influencer to cyber-yell at me and tell me to stop wasting time and get to the task. Hilariously, searching for a video was often a form of procrastination itself, but it showed my deep desire of improving. I wanted to be someone who could charge through my tasks, and I wasn’t.
Up until a month ago I had a very similar mentality and I’d get angry with myself if I procrastinated. Last month, I went so far to think that maybe I can make the kind of video I was searching for in high school. It could encourage others (and myself) to get to their tasks and stop wasting their time.
As I was contemplating what I would say in this video, I decided to do an exercise of sorts. I pictured my past-self and instead of saying what I thought I should say to motivate myself, I decided to ask the Holy Spirit what I should say. So, in my mind’s eye, I imagined past-Janie sitting with her homework in front of her, and with the Holy Spirit guiding me, I said:
You can do anything. You have this homework before you and you know you can do it now and get it done quickly.”
But let’s take a second: How are you feeling? Something in you is pushing your tasks off. Do you feel exhausted? Are you needing rest because of the emotional hardships that happened today? Are you needing some time where you are free from anxiety?
Would you be most helped by getting this homework off your plate or would you be most helped by rest (or play) right now?
How will you be most helped? Can you tune into God and see?”
What came out of my mouth surprised me!! The words weren’t the “Buckle down and do it!” message I searched for in high school. All I felt flowing through my words was God’s concern for her. When the Holy Spirit led, it was obvious that what I needed back then wasn’t what I thought; I needed to be in God’s arms. I needed for Him to help me see that there was a reason I wasn’t motivated. I was emotionally exhausted and I needed His comfort for a bit before starting tasks. At that time, I was looking for that comfort in TV and in my relationships, but I wasn’t finding it in the way I needed.
Many of us procrastinate today as well. And while we may be tempted to be mean to ourselves to get ourselves going, what we really need is to seek the Father’s love and ask Him what it is that our hearts need. No matter what it is, whether peace, or comfort, or love, He has the upmost of it, in its truest form.
Maybe you have goals of getting healthier, or of writing, or of cleaning your room. Maybe God put a vision on your heart, yet you can’t find the motivation to chase it. Being mean to yourself and telling yourself to ‘just do it’ may work temporarily. But partnering with the Holy Spirit and finding (with His help) what is happening in your heart will be much more beneficial. Maybe you’re scared your work isn’t good enough. Maybe you feel important when you have a lot on your plate (so you don’t want an emptier plate). Or maybe you feel you don’t have enough time and you’re overwhelmed. No matter what you find, He can give you the peace and joy and comfort you’re really needing in that moment.
Let’s let the Spirit into the process.
God wants for us to motivated. He loves our destinies and He loves that we partner with Him. But God also is very kind, and to partner with Him means to be kind to ourselves when we are stuck, going to Him for what we were previously trying to get through our procrastinating.
Don’t worry about missing your destiny. Tune in to the Father and ask Him what you are needing in that moment. There’s a reason you’re stuck. Maybe He’ll say you need some rest (maybe even some TV!) or maybe He’ll address what you’re trying to numb yourself from. He cares for you so much and whatever He leads you to is the best course of action.
He isn’t a taskmaster. Yes, He cares about all of the things you could do with your life. But more than that, He cares about the state of your heart. To partner with Him means prioritizing your heart before your tasks, just as He does. He wants to come to you and show you the comfort and love you’re craving, and to soothe every heartache and doubt. So, when you lack motivation, try to partner with God in showing yourself love, and go to the Father with how you’re feeling. He knows what you need, and He prioritizes your heart. That’s who He is.