"Love Finds A Way, Laziness Finds An Excuse"
by Pastor Rick Sams
One of my favorite TV commercials shows a sloth playing Pictionary with a room full of people. He’s taking forever to draw one simple vertical line on the paper for his teammates to try to guess what it is.
The sloth is a tropical mammal that crawls along level surfaces at the rate of ten feet a minute. Sloths are generally sluggish and inactive; they build no shelters and seek none even for their young. They sleep 15 to 22 hours a day, rising in the late afternoon. Sound like your brother in law? Resemblances to any road crew worker is purely coincidental.
Psychiatrist and best-selling author Scott Peck points out surprisingly there is one great impediment to spiritual growth and that is laziness.
Most of us would never confess the sin of sloth because we are so busy. This is why sloth so deceptive. A slothful person can show lots of motion and hard work. But he’s not doing what is important. He’s not doing what he should. He’s not even working on the priorities he’s set for himself.*
Worse is the person who doesn’t ponder priorities at all. He is great at answering “how” he does something. But he never asks or answers “why.” “Why am I doing this?”
It’s like the kamikaze pilot who flew 17 missions. He was busy, but not doing what he was supposed to do.
That's why Scott Peck notes that even workaholics can be lazy. They may work furiously but not at anything that is enduring or eternal.
You may’ve heard this bit of wisdom: “GOOD is BEST‘S worst enemy.” When we rush ahead before planning, when we plan without God in mind, when we clean our desk and sort through emails instead of making that call to mend a relationship, and when we reflect at the end of the day on what we’ve accomplished, there is sense of emptiness rather than fullness. Or we never take time to reflect at all. That’s the picture of the sloth.
CS Lewis famously added that the person who only responds to the needs of people is lazy. Sloths refuse the hard work of determining what they should be doing. For the follower of Jesus, this means we work hard to hear his voice saying: “This is the way. Walk ye in it.”
I believe when Ike was President, he echoed Lewis: “The urgent is seldom important and the important is seldom urgent.” Yet the voices are all around us screaming to meet their needs…and do it NOW!
The Bible warns it’s not all about busyness, but fruitfulness and faithfulness. “Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).
But abiding takes TIME, something sloths seem to have so much of, because they are never in a hurry. Yet human sloths never seem to spend that time connecting to their true Vine, Jesus.
Maybe that picture the sloth is drawing in Pictionary is his self-portrait that looks remarkably like you.
*“The Last Taboo,” John Ortberg