4 Sluggards do not plow in season;
so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.
The sluggard misses many opportunities. Lacking prudence, he doesn’t realize the potential of today’s efforts to yield a harvest in the future. Growth accrues slowly, little by little, in the mundane routines and daily disciplines of life. Improvement may not always be visible, but the prudent person knows that his deposits will accumulate and compound in the long term.
When the harvest finally comes the sluggard doesn’t see the connection between discipline and abundance, he only sees that others have wealth and he has nothing. In his ignorance he attributes their success to luck, his failure to adversity. With diligence he could have shared in the harvest, but because of his neglect he is tempted to envy. What season are you in? Look for the little opportunities, make the most of them, and don’t be discouraged by the success of others. Your prudence will pay off eventually, but laziness leads only to regret.
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but the one who has insight draws them out.” The wise person is able to see opportunities for what they are, taking advantage of the good and avoiding the bad. He has insight into motives, both his own and those of others, and isn’t easily deceived. His humility protects him from appeals to ego, his sense of justice keeps him from the temptation to mislead. His fortitude defends him from compromise in seasons of difficulty, preserving him from despair. He examines every proposition with prudence – hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.