Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#2: Sloth does not equal boundless leisure.

Forced Labor
Previously, I mentioned what the sluggard in me desires: constant (and passive) entertainment via television, a never-ending supply of junk food, a caffeine IV drip, and lots of pretty blogs to read.

But guess what?

"The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor" (Proverbs 21:25).

And it's so true.  On the days that I give in to my gimmes...I suffer.  I die a thousand painful deaths because the baby is interrupting MY show or cleaning requires MY time or there are no more of MY favorite snacks in the house.  And this leads to the point of another proverb...

"The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor" (Proverbs 12:24, emphasis mine).

How long can any of us go without being called upon to do something, anything?  If I play the sluggard all day, then realize my husband will be home in 15 minutes expecting dinner and a mostly clean house (which is reasonable given I'm home and Pookie's a pretty good help for a toddler)...I pay for my sloth by rushing about like crazy, throwing things where they belong and crashing around the kitchen to make it look like dinner's half-finished.

I pay for my sloth with forced labor.  And I'll bet I'm not the only one.

Gettin' Nothin'
And then there's something else, something similar to being forced into work...but worse:

"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied" (Proverbs 13:4, emphasis mine).

Are you on Pinterest?  I am, and I adore it.  I could spend hours lost in the maze of crafts and recipes and inspiring to-dos, pinning them like crazy and telling myself "I'm going to make that."

But if my bottom never leaves the computer chair, I won't make any of it, and so I will crave and want and wish and desire and covet...for nothing.

"The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth" (Proverbs 19:24).

What do you see when you read that?  I think of a cartoonish slug-like creature, so big that rolls of fat slip off either side of his chair.  His mouth is ringed with chocolate; he stares off into the distance somewhere, his mind far away from his hand in a bowl of M&Ms slowly melting onto his fingers.

It's not a pretty sight.  But that's me sometimes: glued to my computer screen or box of candy or whatever it is that I crave, crave, crave--surrounded by luxury but so saturated it no longer registers.

Wow.  This is super depressing, huh?

Without being quite so vivid, I think the moral of the story is leisure has its bounds.  And whether or not we see those bounds coming, we will hit them, and the pleasures we hoarded will be treasures no more.

Don't worry.  Next week I'll be more upbeat as we turn our attention to diligence.  Until then...well, stay away from the candy dish! ;)

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