Sloths, Sluggards, and the Wisdom of Solomon

A three-toed tree sloth hangs from the trunk of a tree in the jungle on the bank of the Panama CanalAccording to research by the National Cancer Institute, they’ve found a link between fannies and fatalities. The hard fact is that your soft recliner can reduce your longevity, and the medical field is encouraging couch potatoes to get up and start exercising.

The NCI research looked at some 70,000 cancer cases and the research supports the thesis that that sitting is detrimental to your health. The harmful effects of sitting is associated with an increased risk of:
• colon cancer (24%)
• endometrial cancer (32%)
• risk of lung cancer(21%)

The research also indicates that sitting leads to obesity and vitamin D deficiency, and the two of these are associated with an elevated risk of colon cancer.

The dangers of inactivity have also been studied by Marc Hamilton (Inactivity Physiology Program at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana): “Skeletal muscles have an electrical activity in them when they’re working which is like the light switch that turns on all these healthy things in the muscles.”

Whenever you sit, your large postural support muscles, like the quadriceps and glutes, are inactive, and they don’t produce their normal “suite of beneficial molecules.” When active, these muscles are involved in the secretion of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that acts like “a vacuum cleaner for fats in the blood stream.”

Even though he did not have the benefit of all this research, Solomon was well-aware of the dangers of inactivity and laziness, and he gave this advice:
• Proverbs 19:15: Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
• Proverbs 18:9: He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.
• Proverbs 6:6-11: Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep—so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.

In an old song by Hank Williams Sr., he asked: “Are you walkin’ and a-talkin’ with the Lord?” That might prove to be a serious question. Instead of just sitting still, there may be a need to hit the treadmill while you fellowship with God.

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