AN AMAZING FACT: An adult bedbug can survive up to one year without feeding.
Sleeping at the wrong time can have detrimental consequences. Many of us have found ourselves nearly nodding off while driving a car after many hours. Airline pilots are required by law to limit how much time they fly between regular sleep. Our ability to make sharp decisions declines when we don’t have enough shut-eye.
But our Bible verse for this morning is not about getting enough sleep, but about getting too much sleep and becoming indolent and lazy. Can you picture a sluggard? (This is not the same as a slugger, which is a hard-hitting batter in baseball.) It’s that lazy someone who always sleeps in. You can almost see a father calling to his teenager, “When are you ever going to get up and work?” The answer is almost always, “In a little while … in a little while.”
Of course, we know the results of being slothful. How many individuals might improve their situation with a good work ethic, if they pushed themselves a little bit more? Sometimes when I visit people in my pastoral work and listen to their tales of woe, I sense that it has become more comfortable for some to sit and watch TV than to unfold their hands, get up, and put on a pair of work gloves.
But there is also a poverty that is worse than being low on cash. Paul writes, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us” (Ephesians 1:7, 8). The wealth in this passage does not simply fall into our hands. We must earnestly reach for it and put forth earnest effort.
God does not want us to live apathetic lives. Solomon challenges all of us to “go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, oversee or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6–8). Even the smallest of God’s creatures can show us how to live industriously.
Dear Lord, today I determine to live fully for you. Guide my plans and direct my paths. May all of my work honor you.
Additional reading: Proverbs 6:1–19
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. Proverbs 6:9-11