Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.” (Proverbs 20:13)
Excess of some sort in its subterfuge is always in pursuit of us; even in the Required Instructions given us to sustain life itself. “Don’t handle! Don’t touch!” Geez…so so many rules! Coloring within the lines can become befuddling but that is not really the problem today… staying on the right page in the right book now seems the issue. But we begin with the compliance of dignified self-control in all things. Regardless.
So what is required for life can be easily become an indulgent practice as it creeps into our heart and soul space with tentacles that snare and choke other activity. Eventually even life itself can be entrapped with the fatal ease and misdirection of excess. (Sleep and eats are part of the package instructions printed in bold type and we do well not to neglect them as we guard our heart against dominance of them.) We all love sleep. We all need sleep. But we can train ourselves to not become as those sleep sluggards who choose to sadly, depressively, and excessively sleep their life away. Some things in life we must avoid regardless of the strength of their pull and the allure of our heart.
On to the example of food now…
What is required and also desired can be neglected in the obvious provision at hand, as we are consumed in discontent rather than satisfied by our needs meet. It’s “the grass is always greener” principle. Ah yes, though there is always hell to pay for tearing out of one’s own fence (the boundary set by God) and into another man’s property line and sampling his wares…
Perhaps we do well to open our eyes to the abundance of blessings we have known in/by God’s wise and faithful provision so that we may escape the Romans 1 “Domino-Effect” of a progressive Fall to perdition because of ingratitude and lack of giving thanks, that results in a failure of worshiping the known God, and an consequential exchange of incorruptible glory for things tarnished and broken.
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God…”
Maybe it’s time to wake up and worship God in the beauty of His holiness and faithfulness of His provision?
I think as always, if we but listen, our friend Jack can help with commentary from Mere Christianity?
“The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”
Think of the Cross.
Think of the city whose walls are broken down and it’s defenses are now weakened… so we too, if we lack self control, we are as that city and subject to being tossed to and fro.
Lord Jesus. Please send Your Holy Spirit that I might crucify the deeds and works of the flesh in my inner man by new desires recreated in righteousness, holiness and truth.