“The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.” – Proverbs 26:13 Meet the slothful man. He is the idle and shiftless ne’er do well, puttering around working hard at keeping from having to work. With much fortitude, Mr. Sloth rolls out of bed because he has a lot of work he has to take care of today. Sitting down to breakfast, his heart is full of determination as his belly is filling with eggs; he’s going to get stuff done. Walking out the door, he kisses his poor, long-suffering wife on the head and tells her that he’s off to take care of business. On the porch, he takes a deep breath and looks up at the sun beating down on him. “Sure is hot, for nine in the morning.” No matter, better get to it. He gets to the end of the lane, and spots something off in the distance. “It’s moving pretty slow, and whatever it is, it looks big from here.” The shape, though he can’t be sure from this distance, almost looks like –wait, is that…a lion?
His wife is doing the morning dishes when the door busts open and her husband wildly declares “There is a lion in the way; a lion in the streets! That vicious beast could have ate me alive!” He sits down in his favorite chair in the living room to recover and orders from his beloved a tall cool drink. “That was close. I could have died! I just wish I would have been able to get to work. Maybe tomorrow.”
If he were a character on a television show, he’d be the loveable lazybones. But in real life, it isn’t very funny. Mr. Slothful isn’t funny to his wife. It isn’t very funny to his kids. It isn’t very funny for those people who are depending on him to live up to his God-given responsibilities as a man, to put his hand to his work. Was there a lion in the street? Who knows. Maybe, maybe not. If there wasn’t a lion, there very well could have been one, in this man’s mind, and what, do you want him to die?! The point here is it was an excuse. And so what if there was a lion? He goes back to bed instead of, I don’t know, taking care of the lion in the way! If there was a danger, there is a danger to everyone else in the community. I’ve lived long enough to know that if there were free tickets to the Super Bowl on the other side of that lion, he would have braved the danger. Whether working for someone else (Ephesians 4:28), or working on things around the house, or working for the Lord, be diligent in your calling. Proverbs 15:19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.