Procrastination – Can You Afford the Cost?

Procrastination – Can You Afford the Cost?

Several years ago, I had an experience that haunts me to this day.  If there was any way possible to turn back the clock and re-live that Saturday, it would be such a blessing.  Not because there was anything traumatic or ugly that transpired that day, but just the absolute frustration of an exciting opportunity lost to the far too common ease of procrastination.

A few years after we had purchased a cabin in the high mountains of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, I decided to address the issue of not being able to access our cabin for at least six months out of the year.  You see, our cabin was located at 9,400 feet above sea level so due to the high amount of snow we would receive, it was impossible to access our cabin on anything other than a snowmobile.

We did have one snowmobile but with the five of us, plus all our gear, food and supplies, it just wasn’t feasible to travel the 30 miles up steep, snowy roads to stay at our cabin.  Then one day I happened to see a vehicle for sale that I knew would solve all our access issues – a Snowcat!

It wasn’t anything fancy, basically just a reddish orange box on top of two tank-like tracks.  I stopped to check it out and instantly fell in love.  It had two levers to steer, just like a tank and had a 12 speed transmission with a small V-4 ford engine.  It would seat a total of eight people plus room for gear and could even tow a trailer.

It didn’t take me long to strike a deal with the previous owner and pick up a 16 foot trailer to haul it in as well.  I was like a kid at Christmas – I could hardly wait to take it in the hills for its maiden voyage!

The following Saturday, I loaded it up on my trailer pulled by my trusty Ford 4X4 pickup and headed for the hills.  I went up a local canyon and then took a dirt road up to an area I thought would be a great testing ground.

Pretty soon, the snow got deep enough that I knew it was time to stop and off-load the Snowcat and begin my adventure.  I was very quickly impressed with the seeming limitless ability of my Snowcat to go wherever I pointed it.  Deep snow and steep inclines didn’t seem to keep me from trudging forward.  I was in heaven!

I won’t bore you with all the details of my Saturday adventure in areas where even snowmobiles hadn’t been.  Needless to say, I was extremely pleased with my purchase and solution to our cabin access during the winter.

The real story of the day began as I returned to my truck late in the day and realized I was in trouble.  Having been so excited to start my adventure, I hadn’t thought through how I would turn my rig around to go home.  Here I was with a full size pickup truck and a 16 foot trailer on a narrow mountain road covered with deep snow.  How was I going to turn around to load up the Snowcat and head for home?!

After several minutes of trying to come up with a solution, it hit me.  The Snowcat had a trailer hitch!  I unhitched the trailer from the truck and pulled the truck forward about 20 feet.  I then backed the Snowcat around the truck into position and hitched the trailer to it.  I then drove the Snowcat up the side of the hill to get passed my truck and then back down to the road to try and find a place where I could turn the trailer around.

About 50 yards up the road, right before there was a hairpin turn, there seemed to be a place where I could turn the trailer around with a series of K-turns, pushing the trailer up the side of the hill.  If I was successful, I could eventually turn it around.

I began the process of backing the trailer up the side of the hill and then coming down again, then back up and down again.  After about five such K-turns, I was finally able to turn the trailer around which was a great relief.  My concern at this point was the condition of the trailer.  After pushing it up the hill through brush and deep snow, I was concerned I may have damaged the back end of the trailer or at least broken the tail lights.

I jumped out of the Snowcat and walked around the back of my trailer expecting to see some level of damage.  What I actually saw was TOTALLY unexpected!  In fact, I had one of those double-take moments – I just wasn’t sure what I was seeing was real.

I bent over for closer inspection and reached out and peeled off four $20 bills!  That’s right, there were four $20 bills stuck to the back of my trailer!  So think about this for a minute – what would you have done?  My mind was racing.  If my trailer was able to scrape up four $20 bills, surely there are a lot more than that still on the hill!

I’m sure most of us have had dreams or fantasies about finding a lost treasure; well I was in the middle of experiencing that very thing!  I even wondered if I had somehow uncovered DB Cooper’s stash.  I could hardly wait to find the rest of the loot.

I scrambled up the hill trying to locate where the rest of the treasure was located but was getting frustrated that I couldn’t seem to locate where it might have been.  It was starting to get dark and I was getting cold and still needed to turn my truck around and load up the Snowcat before it got dark.  So I came up with what I thought was an excellent game plan.  I would come back up first thing the next morning and spend all day if necessary to find the rest of the treasure.

So I spent the last few minutes of daylight getting the truck turned around and the Snowcat loaded with thoughts of how I would spend the treasure I would surely uncover the next day.

The next day was Sunday.  With my church responsibilities and family time, I just wasn’t able to make it back, but no big deal – I’d get there on Monday.  Monday came with an extra work load at my job so I wasn’t able to make it up.  But not to worry, I’d get there in the next day or so.

Then life happened.  A few days turned into a few weeks, then months and eventually years.  I never made it back and it haunts me to this day!  I can’t even remember the exact location.

Why didn’t I just take the time while I was there to find the treasure?  My Snowcat had three spotlights plus headlights.  I could have illuminated the whole hillside to help find the treasure.  I could have built a fire to warm up and used the shovel in the Snowcat to dig around. I could have stayed there all night if necessary until the entire treasure was retrieved – but no, I had a better idea.  Procrastination led to never fulfilling my dream.

Yes, life went on.  I wasn’t destroyed and my family wasn’t harmed because I failed to act in a timely manner.  This may not always be the case.  There are those things in our lives that can’t afford to be put off.  Properly preparing to feed and protect our families in times of need cannot be put off.  The consequences are far too severe.

Please, take the time now to act on your promptings to prepare with food storage.  When the time comes we need to rely on it, there will be nothing more valuable.  Please don’t let procrastination steal your dreams and family’s future well-being.  Don’t let your decision to wait for a so-called better time put you in jeopardy of losing all that is most precious to you.  Move forward with boldness now – you will be so ever grateful you did!

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