From the Mouth of a Reformed Sluggard
It’s been more than a month since Vision, and it seems like summer’s flown by so quickly. At the start of summer, I was going strong with the commitments I made at Vision: become more disciplined both spiritually and in my day-to-day tasks, read the Bible every day, and do DTs (daily devotionals where we read/study the Bible) more consistently rather than sporadically, to name a few. I was extremely motivated to make the most of this summer in preparation for senior year. But as time went on, laziness started taking hold and mere motivation wasn’t enough to keep me on track. I struggled against procrastination, wasting my time, and giving up on my commitments. I thought that it was because being at home was too comfortable. Or because there was a lack of accountability. Other times, I would rationalize my actions by saying I deserve a long nap after working hard all day (when in reality, I was unproductive). There were a lot of excuses, but at the end of the day, I shouldn’t be blaming my external circumstances. Rather, I should be taking a look at myself. It boiled down to my fear of failure and my pride, which led to the unwillingness to change. On the outside, I would talk about how I wanted to grow, change, and improve, but on the inside, it was the exact opposite. Instead of being wise, I followed the way of the sluggard and desired comfort instead.
As Proverbs 21:25 says: The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
Interestingly, after I procrastinated all day and woke up from my afternoon nap, in my most sluggardly state, I was addressed by the DT passage.
Proverbs 21:1-10: The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
This verse was both a description of my current state and a warning if I continued on that path. At the time, I was already starting to realize the so-called poverty. I wasn’t losing money; but, I was losing a lot of time. As they say, time is money. Because of my laziness and procrastination, I was being a terrible steward of time, spending it recklessly and wasting it. Even worse, unlike money, it is impossible to get back lost time. After reading that verse, I marveled at how amazing the Bible was at addressing all my struggles and how accurately it described exactly what I was going through. That was when I realized, I have got to recommit and put my best effort into fighting against my laziness. Of course, it was easier said than done, and for the next couple of weeks, I struggled to get out of bed, do DT at a consistent time daily, and be productive in all areas of life. Something that really helped was doing it with other people and receiving accountability from peers. For example, one of my peers texted me daily reminders about DT at 8am. I also joined weekly video call DT sharings, which also helped motivate me to do DT. God continuously reminded me, warned me, and encouraged me to persevere through Proverbs. Some other verses that I’ve been holding onto are:
Proverbs 14:23: In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Proverbs 19:24: The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
Proverbs 20:4: The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
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.
Summer is usually a period of idleness and a lot of time on our hands, so it’s easy to be like a “sluggard” and become lazy with our commitments, especially when we are at home. That is why we need to take concrete steps to remain diligent and make the best use of our time! If you’re like me and had a hard time keeping to your summer commitments, you don’t have to stay that way! Try doing DT with other people, sleeping and waking up earlier, or keeping track of how you use your time. Renounce your sluggard ways! Summer isn’t over yet, and it’s not too late to make that turnaround or recommit. I encourage and challenge you to look to Proverbs for guidance for how to spend the rest of your summer! :)
Sophia Ma is a senior (c/o 2020) of Berkeley A2F and is majoring in Public Health. She enjoys writing songs and now has been inspired to be a freelance blogger.