- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 6:10
"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest..."
Notice that the translators have put this proverb in quotation marks. That is because they understand that this is what the sluggard says to others and, more importantly, to themselves. The core of the lie that the sluggard tells himself is that he is only resting a little. The truth is that the sluggards are resting all the time.
Solomon wants us to avoid lying to ourselves and becoming world-class procrastinators. We tell ourselves that we are only resting a little, that we are only sleeping a little longer, that we are only needing a little more, deep sleep. All the while the opportunities that God has for us are streaming past us, and eventually all this "little" sleep will cause us to miss it.
It is possible for you and me to miss the plan that God has for us; to not be a part of the good plan and the potential that God built into us. One of the ways that we can miss His wonderful plan for our life is by being lazy and procrastinating about everything; just putting off the important stuff that needs to be done today.
This is especially a strong temptation for young people whom Solomon is addressing in this section of the proverb. When we are in the teen years, we are eager to do the things that sound fun and exciting; and we discover a need for more sleep and rest before the things that sound like work. Don't let this sluggard disease infect you.
If you find yourself trying to put off doing something that should be done because you want to sleep a little more, realize that you are beginning down the fool's pathway. Do the thing and then you can rest.
Notice that this is not a question of whether the person gets enough rest; it is that they put off doing important things because they need a little more. Don't become addicted to sleep. Don't allow your body to dictate to you when you will work hard or when you will begin projects or complete them. If you are not careful, your body will become king and your potential will slip away.
Do what you need to do now. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with taking a nap. Solomon is trying to get us to recognize if we are beginning to lie to ourselves about our little nap which really is laziness, procrastination, and sloth.
Some of the most dangerous lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves. Don't let this be one of the ones you tell yourself. I have watched young people with lots of potential sleep in and miss job interviews which would launch their life in whole new directions. I have watched young people who have overslept and missed tests that they needed to take in order to get into a particular college. If you have a tendency to put things off or to love sleep, realize that Solomon is talking to you. Watch out for the temptation to take the sloth's path. It is a fool's diversion. It promises what you want, but it does not go where your life could go.
If you have given in to sloth on too many occasions, choose to stop. The way to fight back against procrastination, laziness, and sloth is to do the thing that needs to be done right away. If there is something that needs to be written, write it now. If there is a phone call that needs to be made, make it now. If there is a meeting that needs to be had, make the call and schedule the meeting. Deal with things. Put off sleeping and rest until the end of the day.
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