Friday, 22 February 2013


Lazy people are some of the busiest people I know. And I should know! I am plagued by bouts of self-inflicted laziness. If you call us lazy people "lazy" and we are deeply offended and will immediately defend ourselves with a list of our many and varied activities. But the unacknowledged problem is that we are busy with everything but what we should be doing!  This is because our laziness is actually fear. Because we lazy people fear what we have to do, we find lots of other things to do so that we have an excuse for not doing what we should have done. My laziness looks busy. But I'm learning how to overcome this crippling fear.
The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!"
Proverbs 22:13
Rocking horseThere are things that I should have done by now. Instead of doing them I have found what I call 'reasons' as to why I can't get to them yet. My 'reasons' look convincing. They sound reasonable. They take up my time. They draw me away and justify their distraction. But still, the important things that need doing remain undone. But to the outsider my busyness makes look productive (the arch-enemy of laziness).
I know why I look for distractions rather than attending to whatneeds to be done. Fear. I fear that if I bear my soul to that person that need to resolve things with I will be rejected - and I deeply fear rejection. I fear that if I attempt that project that I've been putting off, I will botch it and look incompetent. I fear that if I make a start on that book I must read I will not enjoy it or understand it. I fear that if I start this new exercise and diet program I will not be able to keep going, so I neer start it. I fear trying this new thing because I feel I am a slow learner and far more comfortable with what I already know and I don't want to feel like a dope.
To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home."

Luke 9:59, 61
Jesus Christ was the most undistracted person in the history of the entire world. Jesus Christ was the most productive person who has ever walked our planet. Jesus Christ is the only person to have ever breathed air who has never offered an excuse in the place of His obligations. Yet He encountered distracted, unproductive, excuse-making people all the time. And thanks to me, He still does. In Luke 9 we read how he called certain people to action who instead of appropriately responding, offered excuses for why they were too busy to do what He summoned them to do.
¶ I suggest that you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. 
Second Corinthians 8:10
There is a difference between doing nothing and being lazy. There is difference being busy and being productive. There may be no difference between being lazy and busy. The difference is determined by answering the should question. What should I be doing? The difference is obscured if I am continually answerin: What can I be doing?
The businessman who spends all day making courageous decisions and works late simply because he's afraid to get home and talk with his teenage daughter, is disovering that fear is busy. The wife who always finds a problem with one of her children that demands her attention simply because she fears making time for her husband who she thinks has lost interest in her. The student who jus has to support her struggling friend over Facebook because she's afraid that her maths homework is going to be too difficult for her. The pastor who always finds a crisis in his church that needs his attention because he's afraid that people might think he lacks good leadership skills. Fear is busy.
Author unknown"For freedom, Christ has set us free!"
What joy is ours to claim!
No more enslaved, humanity
Finds life in Jesus' name.
We try, Lord, to be justified
Through all the works we do.
Yet you adopt us, saying, "Child,
It's Christ who makes you new."
We're clothed in Christ and we belong;
Now no one waits outside.
In him we find our common song;
Old ways no more divide.
"It is no longer I who live,
But Christ who lives in me."
He died for us, new life to give —
And new identity.
Now, Spirit-filled, may we be led
From ways that would destroy.
May we your people turn instead
To lives of love and joy.
May we find peace that makes us whole
And patience everywhere.
God, give us kindness, self-control,
And hearts and hands that share.
The most productive thing we can do is to follow Christ where He leads us. In the Old Testament we find Jonah busily avoiding God's will. We have Kings Saul and David sharply contrasted by Saul's continual pandering to fears and busyness and David's courage and action. When Goliath challenged, King Saul was busy looking for someone to fight him - even though God had called him to be Israel's leader! We see that King Solomon was very very busy with his wives - but utterly lazy to what heshould have been doing. In the famous Biblical love chapter, First Corinthians 13, we see this same point made. Someonecould be busy doing good works for the poor but actually miss the point about why they should be doing good for the poor.
each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
First Corinthians 3:13
Here's some things that I observe in people who live with less fear and have a higher ability than most to be productive.
    1. They prioritise the important over the urgent (they answer the should question before the can question).
    2. They keep prioritised lists (deadlines keep them creative and productive).
    3. They keep short accounts with those in their key relationship circles (they forgive, seek forgiveness, and listen well).
    4. They embrace their failures and mistakes by redeeming them as learning opportunities (they have learned the art of "drafting" before completing).
If you're like me, struggling with this busy form of laziness, then perhaps we both realise that we need the grace of God to help us. And maybe as we learn to walk closely with Christ those things which which we should do will increasingly get priority over those things we can do. This grace-shift can help a church transition from good intentions about evangelism to actually evangelising. It can help a family procrastinating with reaching out to an estranged family member to actually sitting down together and clearing the air. It can help a marriage where hearts have steadily grown distant to move a little closer back together with an overdue date. Don't be fooled by the demon of laziness - especially when it comes dressed as busyness, because it's really not laziness at all, it's fear. And fear is busy.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Second Timothy 1:6-7
Andrew Corbett

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