We used to have someone come up to our property in Zionville to mow our lawn while we lived in Greenville (about 3 hours away). The outfit we hired was based about an hour away and had other clients in the area. Then one day we got an email from them telling us that because business in our area had died down, they were discontinuing our service. That gave the grass about a month or more to grow. When we finally moved up to Zionville, we could barely find the driveway and the grass reached up almost to the hood of my truck. It was a discouraging sight and I wasn’t sure how I was going to knock down all that grass and brush. We tried several times to find someone who could come out and do the lawn for us but to no avail. My hope was to get someone with proper mowing equipment who could make quick work of the lawn. Finally, I started on the lawn myself armed with a gas-powered string trimmer and a string trimmer lawn mower. Success – albeit slow. It has taken me several days to get the lawn tackled and I have about 80 percent of it done. We can see the driveway and yesterday I found the barbed wire fence. Looking at the lawn now compared to what it was when I started, there is a strong sense of satisfaction. Is it perfect? No. But now it is manageable. (And I’m pretty sure I’ve lost a few pounds in the process. So, bonus!)
Looking for someone else to do the work was discouraging. It was also lazy on my part. I needed to do this and I’m glad I did. I can look at that lawn and know I did it.
Proverbs 15:19 says:
“The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.”
When you first read it, it looks like we are talking about two different paths, but I think this passage is talking about the same path, just two different attitudes. A slothful person looks at a challenge and sees it as an obstacle. Because there is no easy way around it, he just gives up and stops. A righteous person, meaning a person who meets his obligations faithfully, sees the same challenge and views it as an opportunity. “Hmmm…. There are thorns in the way. Better clear it.” Without fretting over the amount of sweat equity the task might involve, he attacks the problem. When he’s done, not only is the way clear for him, it’s also clear for others.
I can look at the challenges that face me and I can choose to be discouraged, I can try to get someone else to deal with my problem, or I can tell myself, “Get mowing, sluggard” and tackle the problem with the gifts and abilities God has already given me. The right choice won’t just benefit me. It will benefit others also. The difference between a sluggard and a righteous person is that a sluggard will look at a need and say: “Somebody needs to do something about this,” while a righteous person will see the same need and say: “I’m somebody. I’ll do something about it.”
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