On New Years day, my husband and I went on a secret mission. The purpose of said mission? To buy two new bath towels, and to hide them from our children.
Let me show you what the old towels look like.
That old, ripped towel sums up many things about 2012. We had expected to move to a new house, but plans changed. And we decided to put a few things on hold in the process. When we move to a new house, then we will then buy new towels. Not a day sooner!
Sometimes, we are so busy waiting for that “next thing” that we forget about right now. And it doesn’t stop with old towels. We create a condition precedent and use the excuse of “later.”
Most lawyers recognize a condition precedent as a term of art. A condition precedent is “an event or state of affairs that is required before something else will occur.” In practical terms, it means we can’t or won’t move forward until the preceding event takes place. Here are a few examples:
As soon as the weather breaks, I will start walking again.
When I lose 15 pounds, I will buy a new pair of jeans.
As soon as I have more time, I will update my LinkedIn profile.
When the kids start sleeping through the night, I will get up early to pray.
I am saving that old bottle of wine until something really “special” happens.
Delayed gratification is one thing. But sometimes we get locked into an artificial mindset that we cannot move forward absent a condition precedent. Don’t get me wrong, condition precedents can be necessary before taking the next step. But they can also be arbitrary and self deprecating.
The new towels may be a silly example. But why should moving into a new house be a condition precedent to two new towels? Who made that rule, and why shouldn’t it be broken?
Author J.B. Wood sums it up well in his post, Five Life-Alterning Career Lessons for Young Professionals: “What starts as “I can’t because I’m too busy” soon becomes “I can’t because there’s a new baby” or “Now there’s three kids.”
Go ahead, fill in the blank. What’s your favorite condition precedent?
When ________, then I will __________.
We have a God who makes all things new – the old is gone, the new has come! 2013 is here. What are you waiting for?
(Aren’t these new towels awesome!)
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