The Sofa Sleeper
edited: Thursday, November 01, 2007
By Dr. Frank Chase Jr
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2007
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We often hear about youth sleeping their lives away and we often don't know what to do. This article is a wake up call for youth impriosioned by mediocrity.
The book of proverbs comprises some profound, life changing and thought provoking wisdom for everyday living that most people never think about. Some of them are funny, but in reality we’d exist in a black hole of empty knowledge without many of the saying’s that pack this book.
Two scriptures caught my attention one day as I was reading, and they brought back memories of my youth and the mistakes that could have handicapped my life permanently. Back then, I could have become a permanent sofa sleeper. But thanks be to God who is rich in mercy, caused me to escape the enemies weapons formed against me. I also must say that some mistakes in life do have consequences you can’t run from but must deal with even if they ruin your life.
In Proverbs 10:1, Solomon speaks volumes of wisdom to youth when he says, “A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother” NIV. Every youth reading this article or perhaps even adults may need to ponder this statement. Have we been or are we sofa sleepers, an intriguing statement that brings to mind a person who’s thought of as a couch potato or an armchair sports fanatic who has never played any sports. But before you get those mental juices flowing, let’s talk about wisdom first.
Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge. So a wise child is one who has taken wisdom and applied it correctly and who has watched and learned from a person who has none. This brings joy to a father. A foolish child is one that didn’t evaluate the information and made a rash decision not considering the long-term impact and outcome it might have in the future. This brings a mother grief who wants the best for the child. It’s important that we can gain wisdom from other’s mistakes. So let me encourage youth to pay attention and watch others who’ve made mistakes or are recovering from them. In so doing, you can draw a map to success that avoids the same traps your friends and others have fallen prey to.
This verse speaks a loud wake up call to youth about having and applying daily wisdom in dealing with life’s issues because it goes to the heart of what every parent wants for his or her child. They want them to do better and be better and achieve more in life, far beyond what their parents have done. In these chaotic times children seem wiser, but as we witness their decision-making skills about life, their choices reach far into the depths of foolishness.
Young man, young woman, make sure you seriously evaluate where and who you absorb wisdom from. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, who is our greatest influence in life and who plays a great role in the choices we make? Are our friends the wealth of knowledge we rely on in deciding what’s the right choice for life? If so, we’d better question the source of their information before we act on it because a wise student who ask questions is more valuable than some friend we presumably anoint as a knowledgeable teacher. The bible declares, wisdom is the principle thing, so in all your getting, get understanding. Think of it this way, if people misunderstand you, don’t fret. But you’d better get all steamed up if you don’t understand. In other words, go get the understanding you need for life with passion.
Fathers have lost their joy and mothers grieve daily about wayward children in life. Stop, young man or young woman and think about how you can bring joy to your father. As youth, consider the wrong decision before you make it. Don’t bring grief to your mother with unwise choices. Parents live in unending guilt about why their children have become wandering sons and daughters who live life on the edge of destruction. The bible has some insight that every youth should take to heart as they embark into a new world of experiences.
This brings me back to the focus of this article, the sofa sleeper. In proverbs 10:5 it says, “A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame” NLT. To every youth, the time of sleep will cost you wealth and opportunity.
The role of sleep is necessary for the body to maintain optimal performance. But the wisdom of proverbs 10:5 goes a little deeper than physical sleep. It speaks of applying effort to achieve a goal in life. An unwise youth or a sofa sleeper who sleeps away opportunity doesn’t realize their potential, talent and purpose has slipped away. As an illustration, we can identify with a piece of furniture we love—the sofa. We use the sofa for many purposes. We watch TV on the sofa. We relax on the sofa. We have intimate moments with our mates on the sofa. We fellowship while sitting on the sofa and for those who have children, the sofa is a place they love to jump on and play. I could go on, but I think you get the message. The sofa can become a best friend, and as I’ve said earlier, the sofa has caused some people to live as couch potatoes.
Youth is a gift of God, which gives us opportunity because it represents strength, energy, and dreams. But the sofa sleeper (someone who is ill prepared for life and does not work all summer) lacks focus. Sleep will steal the advantage of opportunity to never carry out in life what youth was given to us for.
The scripture encourages young people to avoid becoming sofa sleepers who waste time slumbering away the early bird of opportunities and success, while gripped by the tentacles of sleep and not preparing for their future. For example, there are times when I’ve sat on the sofa just to relax for a moment knowing I have to complete some task. But before I realize it, five or six hours of opportunity have gone by. Now I can’t cut the grass or do the chores I planned to finish that day. The same is true for youth who don’t work all summer or in other words, are not preparing for life but sleep away opportunity that could bring tomorrow’s successes.
The sofa sleeper is not just about physically sleeping away potential and possibility. It’s about what we do with our lives as young people. Do we spend our time with unmotivated people or associates that have no direction? Let me drive home the point on a personal note.
When I was youth, the sofa sleeper attitude or catching some Z’s caused me to lose many opportunities such as an acting career, a tennis career, a musical interest and almost a college opportunity. You might say a little snoozing (wasting of time or having no wisdom) can’t hurt anybody. Well, let me say, the sleep you do get can hurt you! I slept and alcohol robbed me of going to college early. I catnapped and credit card debt made me a servant to the lender, Proverbs 22:7. I hit the sack and thought premartial sex was my right of passage into manhood. I dozed and hung around with the wrong friends and spent a night in a jail cell for stealing. I fell asleep and quit a promising career with the FBI in which I could have become an agent. I took forty winks and allowed my past to rob much of my potential. I flaked out and marijuana kept me from my destiny as a teen. I became an unwise sleeper of lost opportunity. That’s why the bible says in Proverbs 20:13, “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.”
For every youth looking for direction and a little wisdom, consider these words from an Arab philosopher:
“There are four kinds of people:
Those who know not, and know not that they know not.
These are foolish.
Those who know not, and know they know not.
These are simple, and should
Those who know, and know not that they know.
These are asleep, wake them.
Those who know and know they know.
These are the wise, listen to them.”
Arise, sofa sleeper (young men and all youth) and get moving toward the destiny God has planned for you. And as a wise child or youth, believe that you can always make more opportunities than you find in life.
Copyright © 2004 Frank Chase Jr. All Rights Reserved