He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else

I would like to start by apologizing for offending those who will read this post and be offended. I already know who you are, and quite honestly, I am not sorry that you will be offended by this post. I would like to say that I am speaking from righteous indignation. Truth is, I am speaking from being tired and having the world dumped on my shoulders, and having people complain that I am not dealing with the world as they would have me deal with it.I know how God feels.

Like with God, these people do not know the whole story of what I am dealing with. They do not know why I am doing what I do, and they want explanations about why I am doing what I do. They make excuses for why they cannot be involved, or why they do not seek answers, or why they are not kept informed. They do not understand that I am not just sitting around waiting for things to do. I have commitments, time constraints, and limited resources… just like God is not sitting around playing Solitaire, waiting for us to tell Him how to fix the world (Guess what! He already has a plan!).

We, as a people, make excuses in trying to avoid taking responsibility for the world around us. We blame God for what happens in the world. Or we blame others. “I don’t know how.” “I am too busy, or too tired, or too old, or too young.”

Ben Franklin wrote the title of this blog. Ayn Rand said “Rationalization is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one’s emotions.” Mr. Rand’s statement rings true in my ears lately.

“Some of us are not in a position to pick up the phone.”  What does that mean, anyway? The phrase “not in a position to” is a general ambiguous clause that really means: I am not authorized to; I am unable to, even if I wanted; I am unable to NOW, but if circumstances change I could; or I don’t want to. I am going to go out on a limb and assume the latter, since the one just prior really comes down to the next excuse.

“I don’t have time.” Are you too busy washing the dog? Or running your business? Or too busy with your own family’s life? Again, this is a cop-out. We daily say we do not have time for things, yet we fill unending hours of our day posting on Facebook, driving in the car (ever hear of Bluetooth?), eating lunch, watching television. Life is like a jar of rocks, and there is always time for a beer.

“It was too late.” (Or too early). Prioritize. Where I am, 6am is 9am on the East coast. I find my 7am ride to work is a perfect time to call those on the East, or Central time zones. I make time to deal with people on that side of the country when I am driving and have 40 minutes that most people consider “busy.” 10pm my time is 8pm Honolulu time… too late to call someone here, but not there. Lunch time here is… well, lunch time for everyone no this coast. Sorry, I just do not buy this excuse.

“I do not know what is going on!” I view this excuse as a culmination of the excuses above, and many more. If you really want to know what is going on, you will find a way to figure it out. Make time, make calls, adjust your schedule. Do not put others off because they are not available when YOU want their attention. Sometimes others are busy too – agree to call or get together, and live up to that agreement. When you don’t, people come to expect you are not reliable and they will not keep you informed.

I could go on. Excuses are plentiful. Jeremiah had a pile of excuses ready when God called him to be a prophet. God says in Luke 12:48 “of he who is given much, much is expected.”

Let’s quit rationalizing our emotions, and do what we are called to do. I will leave this post with two things:

First, a moral story about being there when someone needs you. This is an urban legend, but the lesson is valid none-the-less. The Marine made no excuses.

And lastly, a quote from God’s word:

                     The Lord has shown you what is good.
                         He has told you what he requires of you.
                    You must treat people fairly.
                        You must love others faithfully.
                   And you must be very careful to live
                       the way your God wants you to. (Micah 6:8, NIRV)