Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Holy Mañana


When I was but a wee lad, a common joke that my parents and their friends would use was the term "mañana", which I seem to recall was from a popular song in the days before Elvis. Basically, it's Spanish for "tomorrow", but the term as popularized by the song was really a comment on procrastination.
Never do today what you could put off until tomorrow.
Procrastination is a way of avoiding difficulty; a methodology that works hard at not working hard (on something important). For example, I don't like that I weigh more than I used to. I could do something about that. And I plan to. Really, I do. Trouble is, I've been "intending" to get around to more exercise for awhile now, and my weight isn't waiting for me.

Mañana. I'll get to it. Eventually. And suddenly my pants don't fit like they used to. So, instead of taking that as a signal to do something about my weight, I just quietly buy the next bigger size of Levi's, and keep "intending" to get on it later. Mañana.

A lot of ink and blogging has swirled around the high-profile crash-and-burn of certain Christian leaders south of the 49th recently. I wonder if part of the problem was possibly a "Holy Mañana" approach. "Yes, I've got a problem. And I really DO want to change and be more Christlike. Holiness is important; I fully intend to deal with this. Mañana."

And almost unnoticed, the years go by, the good intentions still there but unacted on, and then suddenly el baño ka-BOOM (the bathroom explodes). No more mañana.

Some people blame it on the cult of Christian celebrity. Others blame the mega-church model. Some blame charismatic theology; others, a perceived connected to the emerging church.

A certain Seattle-based pastoral-type has gotten himself into a big cauldron of boiling yak paste by somehow connecting the situation to Fat, Lazy Pastor's Wives. Basically, everyone co-opted a tragic situation to flog their own pet whipping post.

Personal holiness isn't something we can play mañana with. If there's anything to be redeemed from the sordid mess of just a week or two ago, it's a recognition that personal holiness is a "now" issue.
  • Unforgiveness towards CLB (Church Left Behind).
  • Bitterness towards leaders/people who have hurt us.
  • Pride that keeps us justifying ourselves at the expense of reconciliation and relationship.
  • Anger that expresses itself in unGodly ways.
  • Selfish ambition that is the worldly opposite of everything that should characterize the Body of Christ.
  • (Fill in the blank here....)
Joshua told the people, "Consecrate (purify) yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." (Joshua 3:5) Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3, emphasis added)
Holy Mañana -- it just doesn't work that way.


  1. I'm procrastinating an essay that I'm working on to make this comment!

    Good thoughts though. I keep meaning to get around to praying more regularly... sometime... later... Guilty as charged.

  2. Your thoughts totally fit with what God is challenging me on right now. I am in this state of knowing that now is the time for action and movement, and "jumping of the cliff" so to speak into what God has for me...and yet I still find myself sitting around watching the latest reality TV show, bored with the state of my own reality, instead of spending time with God, pressing into him, and finding out what kind of a life and destiny and calling he has for me! Thanks for the reminder that God is jealous for my time, and tomorrow just doesn't cut it!

  3. Timely words, robbymac. Thank you! Looking back on our lives in the end, we will see that it was made up of the seconds that made up the minutes that made up the hours that made up the days that made up... our lives. The choices I make for the "big picture" of my life are actually made in the seconds and milliseconds of the everyday. No, I will not eventually find myself all "studied up" for school- not without actually picking up a book today. And I will not suddenly find myself familiar with the word of God until I begin to immerse myself in the scriptures!
    This issue of public disgrace over secret sin... it's come up a lot in the last few years. Or maybe it's always been there. I remember when another fairly recent "scandal" story broke out, I read this quote from Rick Joyner: "The scariest thing in the world for us should be if we have sin in our lives and we are getting away with it." Secrecy is the breeding ground for sin. Perhaps it is difficult to fight temptation on our own, but that is where the body is our support system- confessing our sins one to another, praying for each other that we can be healed.
    Random thoughts that may or may not be coherent... Too late now though; no time to edit. ha ha Wish there was time and space to comment on the "fat lazy pastors' wives" theory, but where would I even begin?!?

  4. Basically, everyone co-opted a tragic situation to flog their own pet whipping post.

    I think you're right. The reaction to the Haggard story was like an ink-blot test, and a lot of interpretations boiled over from a simmering pot of prejudices. Which means that a lot of people will learn virtually nothing from it, unfortunately.

  5. At least the motto of the procrastination society is 'we're behind you all the way' dare we dream the church could share this motto too?