The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions

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Maybe I wrote this article as a warning or a reminder to myself. Maybe it should be kept as a personal musing. Nonetheless I feel it’s a thought I should share.

There is a version of hell I’m desperately seeking to avoid, one that many of us might find ourselves guilty of at the end of our lives if we do not pay careful attention.

It’s easy to think of hell only as a place where they punish fornicators, adulterers, liars etc. But even those who do not commit these sins are liable to some kind of hell.

Just what is it? It’s the judgement that comes from not following through on our good intentions.

The culprits are usually laziness, procrastination and the perfect condition syndrome:

1. Laziness

We know what we should be doing but we are like the proverbial lazy man who buries his hands in the bowl and can barely lift it up. I’m guilty too but I know there is room for improvement.

We often permit lethargy to cast an inescapable dark shadow upon us. We make decisions but pursue the path of least resistance. We are good at setting goals but not lifting a finger to turn them into plans, let alone actions.

We must learn to rouse ourselves into action. Motivation or inspiration is just the starting point but not the entire story. We must force ourselves to do what we must even when we do not feel like it.

2. Procrastination

This is the next of kin of laziness. It’s the arm that laziness rest on to indulge the sin of doing later what it should do today.

Procrastination doesn’t make a task or decision go away. It only means we must do it or make the decision at a later period and probably under more stressful conditions. And this I need to remind myself everyday.

Oswald Sanders wrote,”Procrastination, the thief of time, is one of the devil’s most potent weapons in defrauding a man of his eternal heritage.”

Procrastination is destructive to the fulfilment of potential. We do not become great by what we intend to do but by what we actually do. Imperfect action is better than no action at all.

Often times, the beginning of greatness is one small action.

Success is pretty simple. Small positive steps taken consistently over a period of time. So you see there is really no overnight success.

3. The perfect condition syndrome

This is the most insidious of them all. And that is because it is often justifiable. At least you don’t have capital, the necessary connections or you don’t have an Ivy league education.

If Maya Angelou were to dwell on the limitations of her circumstances and a far from perfect childhood, sincerely she would be justified but she would be just another victim of life.

We sing her praise only because she took her less than perfect condition and wove a beautiful story out of it.

So also, it’s not what we are born with or do not have that limit us. What limits us is our inordinate focus on our imperfection to the utterly disappointing exclusion or down playing of what we have.

This is sufficient to get started – a mind that can think, a heart that beats and a will that can choose either to give up or keep going.

To echo Maya Angelou, “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

Stop waiting for the road to be clear, for you to know every step of the way. Instead plunge into action. Commit. Get moving. Draw closer to God just as you are.

It is easier for God to correct a moving ship than one tied to the harbour (except if it has been clearly instructed to remain there).

Pay attention to this sobering statement by composer Gian Carlo Menotti, “Hell begins on that day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all we might have done but did not do.”

Guess the advice I will give to myself and you if you are interested? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. So do what you can with what you have where you are. Forget about yesterday. Tomorrow doesn’t exist. START NOW! MAKE TODAY COUNT!

Let’s have a conversation
What do you know you should be doing now that you are not doing? What decision have you refused to make? In what way have you postponed living because you are waiting for everything to be perfect?

Please leave your comment below and share.

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