10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. ~Proverbs 6:10-11
“There is never enough time”, and “I am so busy” seems to be a common anthem of the modern age. It has almost become some weird badge of honor, where grown ups gather around and recite day planners, trying to “one up” each other. Once upon a time it was predicted that due to technology we would all have copious amounts of free time. Well, I think the futurist have missed the boat on this one. We have a thousand different inventions that are supposed to save us time and make our lives easier. There are fast food restaurants and drive thru pharmacies. The highways where I live raised the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph. So where is all this extra time that we were supposed to have?
There has been twenty fours in the day for as long as we have recorded history. This is a troubling thought when you realize you have just as much time in the day as anyone else has ever had. This means Thomas Edison did all his inventing in twenty four hours. Martin Luther King Jr. lead the civil rights movement on a twenty four clock. Spurgeon prepared sermon after sermon with only twenty four hour days.
How is it that we seem to struggle to accomplish just the basic things in life? I wonder if it could be that we waste more time than we realize and fail to prioritize our lives? For all those wonderful time saving inventions of the current century, we have a thousand other things designed to rob us of time. Whether it is the television set, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the internet in general, there is a multitude of things designed to steal away our time in little bits. Be honest, how much value do these things add to our lives? What is the benefit? We read so much in the course of a day now, but know so little. We may communicate with dozens of people, but are we really developing relationships?
Then there is the never ending list of extra activities which we engage in or enroll our children into. Each commitment seems benign because it is an hour here and another there, but pretty soon the list just keeps expanding until we become some weird neo-nomad traveling from place to place all day long. We finally return to the base of operations to park the car and sleep before we awake again to repeat the whole process again. But in such a lifestyle, is it fair to say we are truly awake?
In the first verse here, I think we should take special note of the word “little” which is used three times to describe how someone wastes away their time. It is easy to identify the things in life that eat up large amount of our time, like work. But the thing is, we have to work because each of us has got a painful need to eat. The large things in life that take up our time are often the things that have to be there, but it is the mountain of other small things that we loose track of.
This is the design of the enemy to distract and over burden the church. It is the enemies design to keep you sleep, going through a million senseless actions half awake. In many cases this is the best plan to mitigate the potential power of God’s chosen people. Napoleon, hundreds of years ago, was examining a map of the world and he traced the borders of a nation on the map and turned to his generals. He told them, “Here lies a sleeping giant. If she ever harnesses her natural resources and people power she will shake the world. Here lies a sleeping giant, let her sleep.” The nation he outlined was China and we are just now beginning to see the stirring of that giant. But I believe the devil has also drawn a line around the church here in America and says, “There lies a sleeping giant, let her sleep.”
For the most part the church has slumbered. With a little folding our hands we have grown spiritually poor. We have all this great mass of Christian literature at our finger tips, but the masses in our churches have slept. We sleep through meals and grow spiritually week and malnourished. Those who have gained some knowledge have not spent the time to gain the experiential knowledge, rather reciting dead facts, which have not become realities in their lives.
Just as with labor, or finances, or up keep of a home, a little folding of the hands and a little sleep when it comes to spiritual matters will bring poverty, but the worst of it, is that it is not simply a physical state, but it is your soul. We need, we must take our spiritual growth seriously.
First, we need to identify if we really have a time problem. There are many people that don’t a time problem, they have a time wasting problem. Basically this means: if you have time for entertainment, you have time to read and pray. Christ is standing at the door and knocking and if any man will open the door, He will come in and sup with him. That door is the cover of your Bible. We need to experience Jesus in the Bible.
Secondly, we need to prioritize our life. If you don’t have time for church because you are engaged non-work activities, I can tell you right now, you have a prioritization problem. What is the most important thing you can teach your kids? The answer is, to love God. But here is the deal, how you spend your time is going to either confirm what you telling them, or it will tare it down. One of the obvious and fundamental ways we demonstrate to our kids and to the world at large our commitment to Christ is through Church involvement. And I do mean involvement. Going, is a good start, but it is only a start. The church is described as a body. There are several parts of a body and this is true, but each part preforms a function. Now, what function are you fulfilling in your church? We need to make being a functioning part of the church a priority.
Finally, we need to be willing to sacrifice. If you have truly over extended yourself, you are going to need to make some cuts. It might even be as extreme as taking a different job. But remember what Jesus taught about this: “What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, but loose his soul?” It might be something simpler, like cutting out a sport and hanging out with friends. Again, how you choose to spend time will say more about your commitment to God than anything else.
Will we sleep away this life and discover the possibilities of grace that we forfeited when we pass from this life or will we take this bull by the horns and choose to push the clock around, instead of letting it push us around?
God Bless You,