Scarlett O’Hara’s famous line from Gone With The Wind is a clarion call for procrastinators everywhere. The closing scene from the movie begins with:
“I can't let him go. I can't. There must be some way to bring him back. Oh, I can't think about this now! I'll go crazy if I do! I'll think about it tomorrow.”
You just got to love it. Through the years whenever I have chosen to avoid an unpleasant task, from doing my taxes to making a tough phone call, I have quoted these words. “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”
As that famous music score begins to soar, Scarlett walks from the front door, slinks to the stairs and collapses in tears. With Rhett’s voice ringing in her ears, she summons up an inner resolve and defiantly says:
“But I must think about it. I must think about it. What is there to do? What is there that matters? Tara! Home. I'll go home. And I'll think of some way to get him back. After all... tomorrow is another day!”
Churches and organizations that fail to plan are simply planning to fail. (One cliché per blog post is allowed.) The attitude of “we won’t worry about it—hey let’s just think about it tomorrow” will get you in trouble.
And yet there is a flip side. One can be so focused on strategy and planning and vision casting that today is ignored. We wring our hands about the future and fret about events which may or may not happen. And all the while, there is today sitting right there in front of us.
You need a new strategy for major donors. You really do. Your present plan is no longer effective, and you are not sure why. But there are also those five phone calls that you need to make. Today. You can’t come up with the new strategy today, but you can make those phone calls.
Things at church are not going well. You are in a rut and not really sure what to do next. Somebody needs to do some strategic planning or come up with a new program or something.
As for today? Well there is a friend in the hospital who would appreciate a visit. The deacon who dropped the ball on that project could use some coaching. The new member who hasn’t found their niche—a lunch with you could be the turning point. The future and tomorrow may just make your head hurt. Tomorrow may actually worry you. But in the meantime, there are those three things you can do. Today.
Scarlett is right. Tomorrow is another day. Who knows what good or even bad tomorrow may bring. Danger could be lurking around the corner, or tomorrow could bring a momentous game changer of a breakthrough.
But that is tomorrow.
What about today? What do you need to do today?