The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
The writer of Proverbs has some pretty uncomplimentary things to say about the fool and the myopian (the person who is wise in his own eyes). He also sets his sights against the sluggard—the lazy person. Here, the sluggard is described as one who won't even get up to flee from imminent danger. There is a lion in the road!
Well, yeah, what are you going to do about it? Apparently, the sluggard cannot muster even enough energy to run away. He will succumb to the lion’s appetite because he won't even run away.
It might be easy for us to scoff at such behavior, yet there situations in our lives in which we do the same thing. A student might cry out, “My grades! My grades are plummeting!” and then do nothing to improve them. A young adult living in the city might moan, “I’m lonely! I’m lonely!” and then do nothing to build solid relationships. A husband or a wife might complain: “My marriage! My marriage is on the rocks!” and then do nothing to make it better.
We are all tempted in one way or another to observe danger or failure in our lives and remain stagnant. We might whine. We might cry out. But we do not act.
The writer of Proverbs here is not advocating action for action’s sake. He is not recommending doing something just for the sake of doing something. Rather he is making the case that wisdom has feet. Knowing what is wrong and what is dangerous is a good start. Knowing what to do is a good second step. But then it becomes necessary to actually act on the basis of that knowledge.
I have come to the place in my life where I never ask for wisdom without also asking for courage. I need not only to know what the right thing is to do; I also need God’s strength to do it. I need to hear and obey what Jesus said to his original disciples: "Get up and follow me."
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dan Kunkle. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org