Last Minute Shopper

by Doug Malear on April 22nd, 2011



Procrastination


The book of Matthew, in the Bible, tells a story of ten virgins in chapter 25, verses one through thirteen. Five of them were wise because they had brought enough oil to keep their lamps burning. Five of them were foolish (procrastinators) because they did not come prepared for the Lord’s coming by having enough oil for their lamps. So, when their Lord does come, we read in verses 10, 11 & 12, “ …… and those who were ready went in with Him to the wedding and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us! But He answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “

The following story is a true illustration of my own procrastination in the early years of my marriage.

Once again, as in years past at Christmas time, I waited to the last moment to buy something special for my wife. One year I had really messed up. I waited until Christmas Eve to go out and find something, not having any ideal what I was looking for. I ended up at one of those cut-rate, carry-all, never closed marts, like E Z Mart or J Mart or something. It was about the only place I could find still open.

Most everything was picked over so I went to the lingerie section. The thing that seemed most appropriate, at the time, was a brown cotton night gown with acorns printed all over it. My wife and I still laugh, although uneasily, about that night gown to this day.

A couple years later here I was again, last minute shopping. But this year I was not worried. Weeks before Christmas, my wife had given me the name of a perfume she really liked. What could be easier? Many of the stores in our local Mall would probably carry it. I mean, what were the odds of them all selling out of the same brand of perfume at the same time? Between them, they must have had many hundreds of bottles of perfume on hand for this major buying season .

The name of the perfume was Cashmere and I learned later that it was very popular that year. You can probably already see the trouble I was heading for. Later on I wrote the following poem for my wife, describing my quest for Cashmere on that Christmas Eve in 2005.

Poem for my Wife

I asked my sweetheart what she longed for
As far as a gift, to her from me
I asked her to search her inner core
To find what that might be

She told me of the fragrance she sought
As a Christmas gift this year
She voiced its name, and it, I caught
The aroma called Cashmere

So I waited till Christmas Eve
And took my quest to the Mall
I tried every store from A to Z
Sears, Penny’s, Yonkers,… All!

But to my amazement no one had it
It was sold out everywhere I went
And it was time for me to quit
For the day was nearly spent

On the way home I had a thought
I mean it became so clear men
Sure enough, there it was bought
At a place called Elder Beermans


I got lucky that night. Since then I have learned to plan my gift buying a little further in advance. I believe that procrastination is the cousin of apathy, and apathy is doing nothing. Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher, who served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain, has been credited for the saying, “For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.”

The Lord told us in His Word that no man knows the day or the hour of his return, but we need to live alert and ready, watching for it as the watchman waits for the morning. Procrastination caused five of the ten virgins to miss the Lord. Stay alert and prepared, if your waiting to the last minute remember this; no one is guaranteed when that last moment will arrive.


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