Proverbs 6 has some great verses in it. It has advice about business arrangements with neighbors, and the description of a worthless person and his/her downfall. It lists seven things that the Lord abhors and reinforces the warnings against adultery from chapter 5. This is all valuable and praiseworthy wisdom but the verses that spoke the most to me in my reading were verses 6-11.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
I have a streak of laziness that runs right down the middle of my body. It’s been something I’ve had to work on since I can remember. Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing anything. So I don’t. The dishes sit in the sink. The laundry stares at me from across the room. The dust continues to accumulate. A blog post waits to be written… You catch my drift. Things pile up. Then I get overwhelmed at the pile of dishes in my sink that by now is the size of Mt. Rushmore and the gargantuan heap of laundry, etc… And then these thoughts run through my head: “Where do I begin? What needs to be done first? How am I ever going to get it all done? There’s just not enough time. I just can’t handle it” so I sit back down on the couch for another episode of Chopped. I feel lost. It’s kind of like this scene, only the leaf is the proverbial laziness…
Sometimes it takes someone helping me get back into the rhythm of work (or the potential threat of having guests come over…) to get me off the couch and back to work. But sometimes the feeling of accomplishment that I know will be there if I just get going outweighs the feeling of laziness that I have at the moment. But also, just knowing that feelings themselves are fleeting and are often determined, or at least able to be changed, by actions is a good motivation.
We were created to work. It was the first instruction given to mankind when Adam was put in the Garden of Eden. When we don’t do what we were created to do we get depressed and lack purpose in our lives. When I was single, I had a tendency to either be lazy with the “free” time that I had or to fill it up to the max and run myself into the ground (which if this is your struggle you might look here). I think a lot of singles (or just people in general…) deal with managing to keep a balance in this area. It’s difficult to determine between laziness and tiredness (at least for me it is). But the proverbs can help.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
The snooze button would like to be your best friend, but in reality it could be your nemesis in disguise. Sleep is good and is necessary for real productivity but too much of it leads to things left undone. How much sleep do you really need to feel rested? Some weeks it may be more than others, but let me encourage you to try to go to bed earlier rather than sleeping in. It’s difficult to gauge whether you really need more sleep when you are groggy and not fully conscious in the mornings… But in the evenings, if you don’t have enough energy to do the things that are necessary (wash the dishes, make dinner, do your homework…) GO TO BED! Get some rest, then get up and get at it. But first and foremost, the thing that is most essential, spend time with the Lord. Bring your list of things to do before him and pray that he will help you do them and help you decide which ones are on His agenda for you and which are not (or which can wait until later). The Lord will help you. Just ask Him.
(First posted on Our Single Purpose)