30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
Sloth is more conspicuous than other sins, the sluggard does not bother to hide the evidence. It is a tragedy of wasted potential, of atrophy and ruin. This vineyard could have been fruitful, a source of income and a pleasant place to be. Surely it’s owner did not plan for it to come to this. Instead he failed to plan at all, paying no attention to the gradual deterioration. Each of us has an area of life we are tempted to neglect, and whether it’s a relationship, finances, health or possessions, in every instance the result is the same. For lack of attention things fall apart, order reverts to chaos, once fertile soil is consumed by weeds.
The observer applied his heart to what he saw, if only the sluggard would have done the same! The path of sloth is obvious, we can easily see where it leads, and yet we put things off anyway. Sloth may be conspicuous, but it’s temptation is subtle, whispering “you deserve a little break, a little relaxation, now is not a good time.” It hopes to put us to sleep as life passes us by, and when we finally wake up it will be too late. The relationship has unraveled, the money has been squandered, health has slipped away and possessions are beyond repair. Be on your guard against apathy and indifference, they will rob you of all you hold dear. “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”