We again come to our four day trek through the characteristics (and lack of any character at all) of the sluggard. Today we look at how he is given not just to laziness - but also to the sin of gluttony. Let's take a look at him again today and see what we can learn.
The picture we have here is pretty descriptive. We see the sluggard reclining at the table with his hand left sitting in a dish of food before him. He is so lazy and overfed that he either cannot pull his hand from the dish of food - or - doesn't want to. Here is a lethal combination of both gluttony and laziness. The grotesque picture of a grown man who is so sated with food that he cannot even muster the strength to pull his hand out of a dish or bowl of rice or noodles. He just leaves it there soaking in what he was eating just moments ago. Yet this is what gluttony does to a society - it makes it lazy and unmotivated.
I spent a little time reading on the internet about obesity and inactivity. It is both fascinating and alarming to read what is happening in our nation. One study done by the Get America Fit Foundation showed that since 1991 the problem of obesity has grown from about 10% of the population to 20-25% of the population by the year 2003. What is fascinating is that the rates of those in a completely sedentary lifestyle have risen to similar rates. Along with these two numbers rising - the number of very dangerous diseases that are killing larger numbers of people have risen sharply as well. A lifestyle given to gluttony (which we've renamed obesity) and laziness is dangerous for us. It is at epidemic rates throughout our nation. I know it will probably be offensive to many (and I am presently overweight) but we are fast becoming a nation of people who are like this sluggard in the proverbs.
I am not advocating that we all become health and fitness freaks - who spend every moment of our day obsessing over our weight and our looks - but - we need to be wise and grasp the spiritual implications of being a people who are losing the battle as a society to gluttony and laziness. This problem is a spiritual one - not just a disease - or some kind of gene we've inherited from our parents. Wise men and women will realize this and will take the necessary steps to dealing with what is essentially a sin problem. It would be so helpful to our society to once again that words like sluggard and glutton are still applicable and helpful to us becoming a better individual - and a better culture.