[forthright] A Little Sleep

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 11:34:17 -0300
Forthright Magazine
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Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: FIELD NOTES

A Little Sleep
  by Michael E. Brooks

   "How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When
   will you rise from your sleep? A little
   sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of
   the hands to sleep -- So shall your poverty
   come on you like a prowler, and your need
   like an armed man" (Proverbs 6:9-11 NKJV).

The Dhaka newspaper had a front page headline this
week, "17 killed as train rams bus in Tangail". The
accident occurred at a level crossing where there is no
automatic signal or crossing barriers. Rather, as in
most Bangladeshi crossings, the crossing is watched by
human crossing guards and the barriers are lowered
manually. In explanation of the cause of the accident
the newspaper article stated, "The on-duty gateman ...
was asleep when the accident took place."

I do not know the circumstances or the gateman's
condition. The accident occurred about 3:00 a.m., a
time when sleepiness is normal and even those on duty
may find difficulty in staying awake. This guard may be
aged or ill. Yet, in this case, sleep was tragic and no
excuse can justify such neglect of duty. Military
guards may be court-martialed with heavy penalty for
sleeping on duty, even if no such tragedy results. The
reasons are obvious, and accepted by all.

Others, however, when not in such positions of
responsibility, see little harm in idleness and
laziness. If one is able to rest, what is the harm? Why
should one labor diligently, depriving oneself of rest
and relaxation, when a little slumber gives such
enjoyment?

The wise man of Proverbs states the case. Slumber
(i.e., laziness) is addictive and cumulative. One
begins with a few minutes here and there. Then it
becomes habit and lifestyle, robbing the sleeper of
valuable time, energy and productivity. A few minutes
of rest, here and there, but before it is realized
opportunity has passed and poverty has come.

Paul exhorts, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as
to the Lord and not to men" (Colossians 3:23).

In all activities of life, energy and zeal are
rewarding. To the young man Timothy Paul wrote, "Be
diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker
who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

Effort is blessed, but laziness brings reproach and
failure. 

One may not always be in a position where his neglect
causes tragic death and suffering. But such results
illustrate the importance of care and attention.

   "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be
   steadfast, immovable, always abounding in
   the work of the Lord, knowing that your
   labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1
   Corinthians 15:58).

The diligent worker is always prepared, always alert
and never neglectful. Such effort will be eternally
rewarded.

----
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