Let me tell you about a guy I know. I met him a few years ago. We were in some of the same places, ran in some of the same crowds. I would be doing my thing and there he would be. At first, I didn’t take much notice. There are a lot of people around and I hang out in some pretty public spaces. But he kept popping up. Eventually, I had to know who this guy was. So I approached him and started a conversation.
At first, I thought he was hilarious. He made me laugh. He said ridiculous things that I found to be pretty harmless. Over time though I began to notice an edge on his humor. The laughs didn’t come as fast. These weren’t merely clever quips. These were barbs being thrown. We were talking about life. And I came to find out that we were talking about my life.
Okay. So, the guy isn’t a guy. He’s not some dude in skinny jeans lurking behind a pillar at my local cafe. No. This is a character I found lurking around the Bible. I was on a daily reading plan, reading a chapter of Proverb every day of the month. I did this for a whole year. I went through that book twelve times over that year. And I started noticing a guy named the sluggard. He would drop in time to time to say hello. The lines about him were funny and sometimes made me laugh. He would put his hand into a bowl of rice, but was too lazy to bring it to his mouth. He had the best excuses for not going to work I ever heard. He became a comical figure in the book that I began to look forward to seeing. I would highlight the verses every time he showed up.
And then one day I stopped laughing. For the irony wasn’t meant for my entertainment, but for my education. I was no longer watching a play, I was staring in a mirror. This sluggard looked up from his uneaten rice and I saw his face. And it was my own.
The sluggard is simply a lazy person. Someone who chooses to sit on their butt instead of doing what needs to be done. I am a recovering sluggard.
I have all the dreams in the world. Ideas are constantly churning around. Many of them get started. But most of these dreams require a constant pushing to make them go. When my day ends and I walk in the front door of our beloved home, I am faced with a choice. To push or to sit. To play or to stare at the television set. To engage or to space out. Sadly to say, spacing out has been winning. I watch random Youtube channels, surfing from one inane video to the next. Hours go by and nothing of value had been accomplished. Not the tension of a story, the mental stimuli of a book, or the physical enjoyment from working on the yard. All of it fades against the blue light of a 52-inch flat screen.
Television is not the evil. It’s just the thing I am choosing as a distraction. Sometimes the TV joins forces with my phone. It may be the neverending scroll of Facebook. The point is simply this; I am sitting and rotting instead of standing and living. These sluggard tendencies rob me and my loved ones of the life I long to live. There are real questions to face. Problems to be dealt with. Obstacles to overcome. Goals to be met and foes to be vanquished.
I am the sluggard. But I long to be the diligent man.