30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
Often when I think of a lazy person (or ‘sluggard’) I think of someone who is lazy at their place of employment. Though that definitely applies here – it is interesting, is it not, that here the author is talking about the residence of the lazy person. He saw everything had been left unattended. He paints a picture for us of sheer neglect. Had Jeff Foxworthy written this Proverb he might have said, “I drove by a lazy man’s house today. This redneck’s yard was so overgrown, he’d find a car if he ever mows his grass.”
When the author ‘applied his heart’ to what what he saw he came to a very simple, yet powerful conclusion: A little neglect now makes for a big mess later.
Is there anything in your life you have been neglecting? Anything you have been ‘sleeping on’ with the intention of getting around to it later?
– Any areas in your marriage you need to stop ‘folding your hands to rest’ on?
– Any financial arenas in your budget you need to ‘wake up to’ and get after?
– Any relationship building with your kids you need to quit putting off before their gone?
– Anything at work you have been hoping will just magically ‘get done’?
– What have you been ‘napping on’ – hoping things will be different when you wake up?
– Anything starting to get ‘overgrown’ and ‘out of hand’?
Read the verses again. Ignoring what matters now is considered lazy. Are you?
A little neglect now makes for a big mess later.