Archived Story

Lounging on the job

Published 10:25pm Friday, July 19, 2013

By Rev. Chris Surber

Somewhere along the way, many Christians trade in living passion for a plush lounger. After a while in the trenches, most believers rig their prayer walkie-talkie — once used to get power for the battle — so that it functions more like a two-way radio to ask our celestial butler to bring us more comfort in the den.

I’m reminded of the job my hard-working uncle procured for me when I was 14. To say that I was lazy at that age wouldn’t really be entirely accurate. I had taken laziness to a new level. I was like the sheep that is so lazy he believes his wool to be too heavy a burden to bear.

I showed up to work that summer on time — that is if you believed my excuse as to why I was late. I got there ready to work, — that is, if you didn’t mind my needing to eat my breakfast for the first several minutes of my workday.

The job that summer was to gut an apartment building so another crew could later come in to remodel the old building. I was eager to get my pay and initially willing to work — that is, until I realized how the work was going to be.

I made it about a week, until the boss found me lounging on the job in a secluded corner of the building. I told him I was tired. I told him it was hot. I told him I had suffered a tragic injury to my left index finger in the form of a splinter nearly one-eightieth of an inch long.

He told me I was fired.

I was so excited to have that job initially. I had purchased new work boots and gloves. I had promised my uncle I would do a good job. The problem was that I hadn’t really counted the personal investment it was going to take to earn the money.

I was so busy spending the money in my mind that I didn’t consider how hard the work was going to be. As soon as the work got hard, I got tired, impatient and just plain lazy.

Jesus warned His followers about having initial zeal but not considering the real cost of following Him.

“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:27-30 ESV)

Don’t get caught by the savior lounging on the job when He comes back to inspect our labors. Nobody cares about who crosses the starting line. It’s the steady running of the race and crossing the finish line that count.

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at


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