a compilation of inspirational readings by James Alexander Stewart)
"Why stand ye here...idle?"
"It is possible to be idle and yet to be fully occupied; to neglect one's paramount duty while yet employing every moment of one's time.
Young Christian, is it possible that it may be thus with you? Can it be that your industry and diligence are running in wrong channels, and so are, in result, mere idleness? Would the Lord Jesus Christ, after watching all your secular and sacred engagements the week through, and observing that you are really busy all the time, address to you nevertheless, in sad, reproachful tones, the question,
"Why stand ye here all the day idle? Working, but not where you are needed---in My vineyard; toiling, but not in the best way---in My service; busy, but not about My Father’s business; industrious in a sense, but, as far as regards the spread of My kingdom, idle!”
Consider then! is it not idle to waste time in trivial occupations when we are charged with serious responsibilities, or to employ only our lowest powers and talents and leave our higher ones unused?
For a Michelangelo, who could plan and erect a St. Peter’s, to spend his life in rough hewing blocks of marble, would it not have been a sin and a shame? For a Duke of Wellington, who could direct a battle or arrange a campaign, to devote his energies to serving a gun or commanding a regiment, would it not have been wasteful folly? For Peter, James, and John to have continued their fishing after receiving from the risen Savior their great commission, or for Paul to have retained tent-making as his life’s main business after his conversion, would it not have been sinful waste of precious time, as well as sinful disobedience?
And without being either an eminent genius or a divinely commissioned apostle, many a Christian man and woman may be in danger of similar folly and sin. They may be spending the one life God has given them to live for Him, in doing work of kind different from that which their Master intended, qualified, and commanded them to do; of a lower and less important description, than that for which they are competent and consequently responsible.
Such persons, however busy, are idle."