“How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” ~Proverbs 6:9-11 (ESV)
There are times when I get, to the point, in a day, in the life, when I stretch out my arms, let a yawn and say, “I’ll get to it later!” I am guilty of doing this often and not really caring what others think. After all, it’s not their task to do BUT apparently they think that whatever the task is I gotta get it done or all the threads of the universe will come undone and EVERYTHING will just go to pot. Then I gotta hear that word used in the form of a question, “Why do you always have to PROCRASTINATE?”…ggrrrr! I have tried a few of what I think are Christ-like answers BUT they rarely ever fly and what usually happens when I do get around to doing the task is kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I bet I ain’t alone in this either…am I?
In his book “Daily Grind I” Charles Swindoll wrote this about the practice of procrastination, “People who procrastinate have no definite plans to accomplish the objective. They push it into the slimy ooze of indefiniteness, that murky swamp where the thought of good intentions slips in over its head.” Ouch dude…wow that’s got some sting to it but there’s a lot of truth in it. When we hear that someone needs, our hearts are moved into compassion mode and before our mouth’s check the schedule in our brains we have just blurted out our intention to take care of the need that has to be met. For many of us, our names are on the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board so everyone can see that are intentions are true…until the time comes to make that first move, “oh I forgot that blah, blah, blah.”
Well lucky for us we have been given some wise sayings from a guy named Solomon.
In the Book of Proverbs, 16th chapter we are given an assurance and an affirmation:
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from theLORD.” (Proverbs 16:1) assures us we have the mental equipment to get stuff done.
“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3) affirms us that we can have the desire to get that stuff done.
So if we have these divine assistances to accomplish things where does the battle lie to get things done? Well we either set goals that were unwise or unrealistic to accomplish in our everyday lives, we attempted to do something that wasn’t in God’s will for us to be a part of anyway (nudge-nudge, hint-hint) or we simply allowed the sluggard in us to prevail over the diligence that comes with orderly thinking. Oh what a wretched bunch of procrastinators we can be…where can our hope to overcome be found? Ants!
Don’t look at it in that tone of facial expression, yes I agree our hope is to be found in Jesus Christ but even He would have said “Ants!” (I think…don’t hold me to that, anyway) In Proverbs 6:6-8 we read, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” I’m not sure who would have done this study but apparently ants do not need a “boss” over them, they get the basics done first, they stay ahead of schedule and they do this without getting any accolades from their fellow ants, neighboring insects or people (or kids with magnifying glasses).
There are three things that can happen to us if we fail to follow the ant’s example. We’ll continue to procrastinate (or maybe I should say “stay in our comfort zone?), we’ll be more dependent upon others (to the point where we “thought they did that already”) or something that caught my eye in Swindoll’s writings…we begin to resemble “a vagabond” (having no settled foundation).
As we continue to march on into this new year may these following verse ring as true to us and it did when we rang in the new year…”Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12) and then to continue onto verse 19, “A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.” Ya know, I can stretch my arms out all day long and get nothing done but if my foundation is in a hope assured that will need to be maintained. And the funny thing about a maintained ant hill is that it goes deep and can recover its appearance when a storm comes upon it. Ants!! Too funny…too true. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Graduate of The Colony of Mercy 11-2003 and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ
The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 13; Proverbs 13
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: “There are in man strong desires after happiness; but never let those expect anything truly sweet to their souls, who will not be persuaded to leave their sins.” ~Matthew Henry
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” ~Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)