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Tag Archives: overcoming idleness

Multiple and Don’t Dillydally

I was first introduced by the idiom dillydally by one of my Junior High teachers. This woman hated to lose valuable class time, regularly pointing out to her class this wretched behavior. Yet, this term dates back to the Middle Ages. Dilly-dally is a reduplication of dally, referring to loitering or spending time idly. According to the OED, dilly-dally first appeared in literature around 1741.

Build yourselves houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat the fruit of them. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not be diminished, Jeremiah 29:5-6.

While Israel was living in exile, forced to reside in Babylon, many longed to be back in their homeland. Based upon the passage above, many Israelites were seen moping around, unable to come to grips with their current dilemma. Like teenagers loitering at a local mall, God sent the prophet Jeremiah to give everyone a pep talk. The best way to summarize this message is “multiple and don’t dillydally.”

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air], James 4:13-14.

Jesus’ earthly brother proclaimed that life is too short to dwell on the past. Whenever you let depression suck the joy out of life, you’ll never get back the time you’ve lost wishing you were someone else or some other place. The time for moping is over for me. Instead of dillydallying in this or that, seize each day like it’s your last. Dwell where the Lord has planted you, making the most of the hours you have left on earth.

by Jay Mankus

Free Falling

Jeff Lynne produced Tom Petty’s 1989 album Full Moon Fever. Liner notes in Petty’s Playback box set includes the story behind Petty’s hit song Free Fallin’. While playing some elaborate stuff on the keyboard, Jeff and Tom stumbled upon three simple chords. According to this insert, Lynne suggested that Tom stop playing all the hard stuff and just sing some words to these three chords. Although Lynne came up with the title Free Fallin’, Tom figured out the best way to sing this phrase.

He who loves [and takes more pleasure in] father or mother more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves [and takes more pleasure in] son or daughter more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; 38 And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me. 39 Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life], Matthew 10:37-39.

The phrase free falling presupposes that an individual has reached a certain height or point in life before coming back to earth. The Bible suggests that idleness triggers people of faith to begin to their descent, sliding further and further away from God. The greatest example of this in the Bible occurs in 2 Samuel 11:1-5. When David decided not to go off to war in the Spring, he took an extended vacation from work. When you’re not where you are suppose to be, even Christians can fall from grace.

And so they incur condemnation for having set aside and slighted their previous pledge. Moreover, as they go about from house to house, they learn to be idlers, and not only idlers, but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say and talking of things they should not mention, 1 Timothy 5:12-13.

Every year a famous Christian leader held in high regards is exposed when their spiritual free fall is revealed by headline news. The latest victim is Jerry Falwell Jr, former president of Liberty University. In a recent article by Jeff E. Schapiro in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Democrats are enjoying this latest sex scandal. As politicians scrape the bottom of the barrel, may Jerry’s demise serve as a wake up call for those of you with an idle faith. May this free fall inspire you to repent and draw near to God.

by Jay Mankus

Decisions and Destinies

Dehydration, exhaustion and reaching the point of being mentally spent are good reasons to take a break.  No matter how disciplined, focused or strong you may be, everyone needs to take the time to rest and recover.  However, if this period takes longer than expected, dreams, goals and visions may be in jeopardy.  This is where decisions and destinies are linked as different avenues lead to success and failure, victory and the agony of defeat.

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies, 2 Thessalonians 3:11.

My first introduction to the term idleness came through a common expression, “the early bird gets the worm.”  The point of this saying encourages individuals to be active, diligent and persistent.  Those who emulate these traits are rewarded with consistent results on the way toward securing an eternal destiny.  Meanwhile, the dazed, distracted and emotionally tired are proceeding toward a different destiny, void of significant accomplishments.

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor, Proverbs 12:24.

Solomon is much more blunt while discussing idleness.  The analogy mentioned above suggests that your ultimate destiny is determined by the daily choices you make.  Anyone who seizes the day by maximizing the opportunities that God gives you will be blessed, earning favor and financial gain.  On the other side of the spectrum people will end up in some sort of blue collar job, often grueling which may feel like forced labor.  Therefore, if you want to pursue high hopes in this life, make sure daily decisions are guided by a mind set on the destiny you are eager to achieve.

by Jay Mankus

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