Friends of George Burns have always kidded him about his singing. Burns, a master of
self-deprecating humor, decided to take advantage of this and insure his voice for a
million dollars. He thought it would be a wonderful publicity stunt.
"I was so excited," said Burns, "I couldn't wait to rush down to the
insurance company. I took a cassette and a tape recorder with me so the insurance man
could hear my voice. It was one of my best numbers -- a syncopated version of Yankee
Doodle Blues with a yodeling finish. The insurance man listened patiently to the whole
thing, then he just looked at me and said, 'Mr. Burns, you should have come to us before
you had the accident.'"
Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, p. 7.
Hard work is often the easy work you do not do at the proper time.
Campus Life, May 1980, p. 18.
An incident from the American Revolution illustrates what tragedy can result from procrastination. It is reported that
Colonel Rahl, commander of the British troops in Trenton, New Jersey, was playing cards when a courier brought an urgent
message stating that General George Washington was crossing the Delaware River. Rahl put the letter in his pocket and didn't
bother to read it until the game was finished. Then, realizing the seriousness of the situation, he hurriedly tried to rally his
men to meet the coming attack, but his procrastination was his undoing. He and many of his men were killed and the rest of the
regiment were capture.
Nolbert Quayle said, "Only a few minutes' delay cost him his life, his honor, and the liberty of his soldiers. Earth's
history is strewn with the wrecks of half-finished plans and unexecuted resolutions. 'Tomorrow' is the excuse of the lazy and
refuge of the incompetent."
Our Daily Bread.
The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.
Richard L. Evans, Bits & Pieces, March 4, 1993,
One day a young man moved into a cave to study with a wiseman. He hoped to learn
everything there was to know. After giving his student a stack of books, the wise man
sprinkled itching powder on his student's hand and left. Every morning the wise man
returned to the cave to monitor his student's progress. "Have you learned everything
there is to know yet?" the wise man asked.
And every morning his student said, "No, I haven't." Then the wise man would sprinkle itching powder on the student's hand
and leave. This was repeated for months. But one day, as the wise man entered the cave the student took the bag of itching
powder and tossed it into the fire.
"Congratulations!" said the wise man. "You've graduated. You've learned you don' t have to know everything to
do something positive. And you've
learned how to take control over your life and stop the itching."
Today in the Word,
May 1, 1992.
It's always easy the night before to get up early the next morning.
We often fail to consider the gradual, cumulative effect of sin in our lives.
In Saint Louis in 1984, an unemployed cleaning woman noticed a few bees buzzing around
the attic of her home. Since there were only a few, she made no effort to deal with them.
Over the summer the bees continued to fly in and out the attic vent while the woman
remained unconcerned, unaware of the growing city of bees.
The whole attic became a hive, and the ceiling of the second-floor bedroom finally
caved in under the weight of hundreds of pounds of honey and thousands of angry bees.
While the woman escaped serious injury, she was unable to repair the damage of her
Robert T. Wenz.
A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagonload of corn in the road. The former who lived nearby came to investigate. "Hey,
Willis," he called out, "forget your troubles for a spell and come on in and have dinner with us. Then I'll help you get the
"That's mighty nice of you," Willis answered, "But I don't think Pa would like me to."
"Aw, come on, son!" the farmer insisted.
"Well, okay," the boy finally agreed. "But Pa won't like it."
After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. "I feel a lot better now, but I just know Pa is going to be real
"Don't be foolish!" exclaimed the neighbor. "By the way, where is he?"
"Under the wagon.".
Gloria Pitzer has written this clever little poem:
Procrastination is my sin
It brings me naught but sorrow.
I know that I should stop it
In fact, I will...tomorrow.
Today in the
Word, MBI, April, 1990, p. 41.