A euphemism is a nice way of saying something unpleasant. We’ll say: “He’s under the weather,” or “She passed away,” or “I misspoke,” when really we mean to say he’s sick, she died, and I lied.
I’ve never found a good euphemism for a lazy person. Maybe slacker. At best we have a few obscure expressions—lounger, laggard, drone—but these work only because we don’t know what they mean. And if we did, we’d wish we didn’t.
A lot of what I’ve learned about what’s best to do in life has come from observing mistakes. Even though a slacker would never have the self-discipline to give a lecture, we can receive a whole course of study simply by observing his or her lazy life.
Here are several key lessons we can learn from Mr. Lazybones that will keep us motivated from becoming lazy.
I forgot the birthday of a good friend. After I looked back at my calendar, I saw the problem. I neglected to set up a reminder for the important day. We overlook significant things in our lives often because of our busyness—not because of our apathy.
It’s no different in our relationship with God.
Whether we use string on a finger, a Post-it Note on the mirror, or an auto-reminder on our smartphones, we all need prompts for what we’d otherwise forget.
Unaware as it happens, we can allow our busy lives to crowd out our devotion to God. We enjoy our families, our homes, our food, our salvation—all of God’s blessings to us. But before we know it, we replace a devotion to the Lord with a devotion to His blessings.
And in a sad, twisted irony, those blessings become our focus instead of the God who gave them.
You’re going to stay busy. I get it. So let me share with you 5 ways you can remember God in your busy life.
I’ve noticed an unsettling habit in my life. Whenever I find myself with a free moment, I feel compelled to fill it with something productive.
Because I hate to waste time, I fill it with activity and justify it as productivity. But I’m learning that constant movement doesn’t represent efficiency.
It could, moreover, represent just the opposite.
As with every other part of the human experience, Jesus remains our model of efficiency. But His life—even before the cross—was no easy walk:
- The demands on Him were constant.
- The needs He faced were overwhelming.
- The expectations He encountered were unrealistic.
No person was ever more qualified to do it all, and yet Jesus took life in the fast lane in stride.
What was His secret?
We start strong. Determination and strength come easily. Faithfulness flows from our hearts.
Then life happens. We didn’t plan to grow cold spiritually. But we did.
Somehow, we can wake up after a number of years and discover that our lack of passion for God has gradually shifted Him away from our hearts. We then find ourselves living in the ruins of once-vibrant spiritual lives.
How does this happen? By forgetting this one thing.
A father walked into the room to see his young son with his hand inside an expensive vase. The boy explained that he had dropped a penny in the vase. Now his hand was stuck.
The dad tried everything to free his son’s hand, but it was no use. It was wedged tight. Finally, the father grabbed a hammer to break the vase.
“Wait, Daddy!” the frightened boy said. “Would it help if I just let go of the penny?”
That story shows more than the mind of a naïve child. It illustrates the baffling priorities we cling to—no matter how old we get.
You know what I mean. We often find ourselves at the breaking point of something valuable because we refuse to release something trivial. We cling to our pennies and break our vases.
And very often, those vases are our relationships.
You’ve heard the old cliché, “Prayer changes things.”
Yeah, okay, but what about the times when it just flat doesn’t? What’s wrong?
Why doesn’t God answer your prayers? As I’ve searched the Scriptures, I have discovered at least 5 reasons.
In some cases, we are not waiting on God; He is waiting on us.
We all need people to influence us. God made us that way.
From the languages we speak to the character we develop—it all begins with those who surround us in our formative years.
It starts with our environment, but it shouldn’t end there. It cannot.
When it does, it’s tragic. That was the case with King Joash.
But it doesn’t have to be that way with us.
Most of us can remember the turning of the millennium. It was an exciting time to be alive—to see if all computers would crash. (It was also a great time for practical jokes).
But for the great yew tree at Crowhurst, England, the year 2000 was no big deal. Tree experts say this tree has seen the millennium change four times. Ho hum.
That means when Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago, the Crowhurst yew had already stood for two thousand years—dating to the time of Abraham!
From its lush exterior you’d never guess the tree had a center lifeless and hollow.
A lot of people live life like this old tree.
- From all appearances, they look full of life and vigor, but on the inside they have an empty hollow.
- The longer they live, the bigger the hole gets on the inside.
Life can weather your faith. But God’s love shows us how He can fill that empty hollow with life far more vibrant than the outside facade.
But only He can do it.
I never trust myself with a snooze button.
It’s too easy to tell myself, “Just 5 more minutes,” about 7 more times. Plus, snoozing never helps! I feel just as tired after snoozing as I did beforehand.
I gain nothing. I’ve only lost time.
The problem of “mind over mattress” is one we all face, and we all deal with it in different ways.
- Some people set the alarm earlier to allow for the snooze.
- Others put the clock out of reach so they have to get up to turn off the alarm.
- Others tell themselves, Tomorrow I’ll begin to get up on time; but not today.
Spiritually speaking, we’re often called to “wake up” and get moving.
The problem? We’re tempted to slap the snooze button.
But when we do, we never gain anything.
We only lose precious time.
Someone else’s stuff always seems better than ours. Yes, always.
Even their struggles seem better. Have you noticed?
The temptation to compare yourself with somebody else can be devastating in the Christian life.
When Peter first met Jesus, the fisherman followed the Master out of a motive for glory and a prime seat in the kingdom of God. Peter wanted to be the “greatest” in comparison to others.
But after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, a single conversation along the shores of the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha changed Peter’s whole frame of reference.
That conversation can also help you not compare yourself with the lives of others.
It can free you to follow Jesus as an individual.