Why don’t you want to get better? Why don’t you want to accomplish anything? Why don’t you care about anything?
Those were the questions going through the coach’s mind when he witnessed several of his players just doing the bare minimum on and off the field. In the classroom, these guys hardly paid attention and their grades reflected it. In the weight room, they never seemed to make any gains. On the field, what once might have been promising careers now seemed to be plodding along to a slow halt.
Somewhere along the way, these guys got lazy and distracted. They just didn’t care anymore. It was sad.
In its immense practicality, the Bible shows us that laziness has been around forever. Proverbs 26:14 describes it this way: “As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed.”
In Scripture, a “sluggard” is someone who is habitually lazy, someone who is a fool and doesn’t see what his laziness will cost him.
Why doesn’t he want to get out of bed? Why doesn’t he want to accomplish anything?
A few reasons.
First, accomplishing something is difficult. On or off the field, life can be tough. Setting goals, working hard, getting better, living the life Jesus calls us to…those things aren’t always easy. It’s easier to stay in the proverbial bed and do nothing.
Second, talking about doing something is easier. It’s easier to talk about one day, someday, than to actually get up, press on, and get going. Talk is often the killer of success in life, both on and off the field.
Third, yesterday sometimes makes us afraid of today and tomorrow. As a result of yesterday’s failure and pain, we can often decide that today is just not worth the effort. In some cases, we’ve failed and don’t want to experience that again, so we give up. In some cases, we’ve been hurt and want to avoid that at all costs.
Finally, the sluggard doesn’t really care what effect his laziness has on anyone else. He has become dependent on other people for whatever he gets in life and long ago decided that was enough. He doesn’t see himself as being put here for anyone but himself.
How do we move past all this?
The Gospel of Jesus tells us that he already accomplished what was most difficult–the forgiveness of our sins–and that his power can help us face whatever is in front of us. Instead of staying “in bed,” we can get up and face the day by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
The Gospel of Jesus shows us that God didn’t just talk about loving us, but he did something to show his love. Since we are called to imitate him, it’s time to put our faith in action.
The Gospel of Jesus overcomes all of our yesterdays. Pain and failure are no fun, but Jesus makes all things new and creates a fresh start every day.
The Gospel of Jesus gives us the ability to both care about and have a direct impact on the lives of others. It’s not obligatory, it’s love. We no longer live for ourselves, but for Jesus and those he died to save.
So, it’s the Gospel of Jesus that empowers us to get up, get going, and press on.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the Gospel. Thank you for doing what was most difficult. Get me up, get me going, empower me for life (your way) on and off the field. Amen.