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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Conquering the Mañana Disease

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

I have been planning on writing this ‘Mañana’ article for several months, but I never got around to it.  Manana is a Spanish word for ‘tomorrow’. There is an old saying “Why do today what you can put off ‘till tomorrow?” Some have coined the expression “mañana disease”, which means to procrastinate and put things off until tomorrow.  The term ‘procrastinate’ is literally Latin “for tomorrow (crastinus)”.

Once a year in January, many of us take time to make New Year’s Resolutions.  Many of us vow to finish certain important tasks that we have been putting off.  For some of us, it may be finding a new job, getting married, having a child, buying a house, earning a University degree, or restoring a broken relationship.

King Solomon 3,000 years ago had this advice for people struggling with the mañana disease: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.” (Proverbs 6:6)

 Solomon challenges each of us to not let fear hold us back: “The sluggard says ‘there is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming in the streets.’ (Proverbs 26:13)

 Solomon encourages us to not be arrogant and unteachable: “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.” (Proverbs 26:16).  Solomon cautions us not to become addicted to our pillows: “As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.” (Proverbs 26:14).  The ancient word for procrastination is sloth, one of the seven deadly sins.  Solomon humorously points out that sloth can become so addictive that nothing gets done: “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.” (Proverbs 26:15).

Why do we procrastinate?  I procrastinated for years in writing my second book “Battle for the Soul of Canada.”*  Sometimes conquering procrastination seems like too much stress, too much work.  I believe that the rise of the ‘living together’ phenomenon in our culture has a lot to do with marital procrastination, especially for men.  The average age for men to be married is now 34; for women, it is 31.  Many people are waiting for the perfect time to tie the knot, the perfect financial situation, perfect educational situation, perfect housing situation, perfect emotional connectedness.  Perfectionism is at the core of the mañana disease.  Our grandparents rarely experienced perfect lives. Somehow they were able to get married and get on with their lives.

For many men, the concept of having children is even more threatening than being married.  The imagined weight of responsibility can be overwhelming.  It is interesting that in the most affluent parts of the world, we are having fewer children and at a much later stage of life.  The biological clock is on a collision course with the mañana disease.  The irony of Quebec is that its fear of cultural extinction is now becoming a biological reality.  Quebec, which had the highest birthrate, now has the lowest birthrate in North America.  Mañana has real consequences.

I love the poster I saw recently of a huge polar bear lying prone on an iceberg.  The caption goes: “When I get the feeling to do something, I lie down until the feeling goes away.”  Charles Dickens in his famous novel David Copperfield wisely observed: “Procrastination is the thief of time.”  I have found that later often means never.  Life moves on.  People die.  People move away.  Nothing on this earth is permanent.

 We all mean very well in our hearts.  Sometimes we fail to show it to our spouses, our children, our parents, our siblings.  It is so easy to put off saying “I’m sorry.  I was wrong.  How can I make it up to you?  I’ll try not to do that again.  Will you please forgive me”.  It is so easy to let relationships die because of the mañana disease.

When I first came to St. Simon’s North Vancouver, I said to our congregation: “If I haven’t offended you yet, you don’t know me well enough.”  They all laughed at the time, but later found out that I was dead serious.  All of us have the ability to offend others.  We even have the ability to offend ourselves.  Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves.  Women especially are often the hardest on themselves, turning their anger inward.  Perhaps conquering the mañana disease may involve looking yourself in the mirror, and with God’s help, forgiving yourself.  Many people, who have been through a painful divorce or an abortion, secretly condemn themselves for years.  God knows and God forgives, if we will only open our hearts to Him.  Say no to the mañana disease.

In this New Year, my challenge for  those reading this article to seize the day, redeem the time, forgive those who need forgiving, and get on with our life both now and for eternity.  Are you ready yet to meet your Maker?

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Dr Chuck Swindoll: Rejoice in the Lord Always

By Rev Ed HirdDr Chuck Swindoll Picture

I enjoyed reading ‘Laugh Again’ by the best-selling author and radio communicator, Dr. Chuck Swindoll.  He tells the story of a cute Peanuts cartoon where Lucy says to Snoopy: ‘There are times when you really bug me, but I must admit there are also times when I feel like giving you a big hug.’  Snoopy replies: ‘That’s the way I am…huggable and buggable.’

Chuck’s book gives practical tips on how to take ourselves less seriously, and how to fall more in love with life.  Too many adults, says Chuck, have become so serious and overly responsible that they have lost one of God’s best gifts: a sense of humour.

Dr Chuck Swindoll's book Laugh AgainDr. Swindoll met a man who told Chuck of his need to work hard at being happier.  He said that he had been reared in an ultraserious home.  “We didn’t talk about our feelings…we worked…Funny thing…in my sixty-plus years I have achieved about everything I dreamed of doing and I have been awarded for it.  My problem is that I don’t know how to have fun and enjoy these things hard work has brought me.  I cannot remember the last time I laughed–I mean really laughed.”

As he turned to walk away, he dropped this ‘bomb’: “I suppose I now need to work harder at being happier.”  Chuck reached over, took him by the arm, and said: “Trust me on this one- a happy heart is not achieved by hard work and long hours.  If it were, the happiest people on earth would be the workaholics…and I have never met a workaholic whose sense of humour balanced out his intensity.”

Dr. Swindoll goes on to talk about the up-side Dr Chuck Swindoll1and downside of our drive to achieve.  Jokingly speaking of an ‘elite club’ High Achievers Anonymous,  Chuck spoke compassionately about the high cost that our work addictions play in our primary relationships.  The tragedy is, enough is never enough.  Life becomes reduced to work, tasks, effort, an endless list of shoulds and musts…minus the necessary fun and laughter that keeps everything in perspective.  Chuck says that there is always one telltale sign when pride takes charge of our life: the fun leaves.

Deep within, the overachiever begans to think that life is much too busy, much too serious to waste it on silly things like relaxation and laughter.  Why has our 20th century suffered so terribly from laughless dictators like Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini?  G.K. Chesterton comments: ‘Madmen are always serious; they go mad from lack of humour.’

GK ChestertonG.K. Chesterton also commented: “I’m all in favour of laughing. Laughter has something in common in it with the ancient winds of faith and inspiration; it unfreezes pride and unwinds secrecy; it makes men forget themselves in the presence of something greater than themselves; something that they cannot resist.”

Dr. Swindoll had a deep fear that if he became ordained, he would have to become ultra-serious and sour-faced.  One day God said to him: “You can faithfully serve Me, but you can still be yourself.  Being my servant doesn’t require you to stop laughing.”

Laughter is hope’s last weapon.  As Dr.Swindoll puts it, only those who are firm in their faith can laugh in the face of tragedy.  A young woman had booked herself into a motel in order to do herself in.  She had endured numerous failed relationships with men and had had several abortions.  She was empty, angry, and could see no reason to go on.  Finally, just before dawn, she reached into her purse and pulled out a loaded pistol.  Trembling, she stuck it into her mouth and closed her eyes.  Suddenly the clock alarm snapped on with the message of new hope from Dr. Swindoll.  Before the thirty-minute broadcast was over, she gave her life to Jesus Christ.  When she phoned Dr. Swindoll’s office to share what had happened, she said that she could still taste the cold steel from the gun barrel she had pulled from her mouth.

My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us may discover an unshakable reason to keep on living and an unshakable love of our Creator.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-author of the award-winning book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca