The ways of sluggards are strewn with thorns; but those of the diligent are made smooth.” (Prov 15: 19, Septuagint-translation)

This observation of the very-practical Book of Proverbs needs no explanation, really. Who doesn’t know that most things become more complicated, more difficult, or “strewn with thorns,” when we neglect to do them, or put off doing them, letting procrastination get the better of us? This is true in our professional and financial matters, e.g., when we let those emails or envelopes from the bank pile up without opening them. It is also true in our personal relationships, when we put off having that conversation, or even just saying a simple “I’m sorry,” to clear the air before it gets suffocating for everyone in our “house.”

Thank You, God, for this practical “tip” from the Book of Proverbs, which is part of the reading at Vespers today, on the fifth Tuesday of Lent. Let me choose the “smooth” way today, of just going ahead and doing things, step by step, on my cross-carrying journey, rather than avoiding them and letting them grow “thorns.” This morning I plan out my little schedule for the day, opening my heart to God’s presence through it all, in humility and patience with myself and others. “O Lord and Master of my life, grant me not a spirit of idleness, despondency, love of power, and idle talk.”

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