The story is told of a man who went to visit his friend for the evening. There was a horrible storm when he arrived, and as he entered the friend’s house, water dripped into pots and pans and buckets everywhere. “What’s with all this water,” the man asked, “shouldn’t you get this leaky roof fixed?” “Oh I will,” replied the friend, “but I can’t do anything about it now, it’s raining, you see.” They settled down to a damp and chilly evening, and the man was more than happy to cut short his visit and leave.
The next day was bright, warm and sunny. The man returned to his friend’s house. “What a beautiful day,” he exclaimed! “It’s the perfect time to get your leaky roof fixed!” “Oh, why bother?” asked his friend. “It’s not raining now.”
The time to deal with problems and issues of life is not in the middle of the problem or issue, but when there is no problem. Planning and preparation ahead of time, while life is calm, is the best time to prepare for when storms hit. Aesop had this in mind when he spoke of the ant and the grasshopper: the grasshopper put off and played during harvest while the ant toiled and labored. When winter hit, the ant was well-fed but the grasshopper starved. It was too late for him. We can learn a lot from the leaky roof and the ant.
Long before the story of the leaky roof and the man and his friend, and before Aesop’s story of the ant, Solomon wrote about laziness, sloths, and sluggards in Proverbs. He gave us godly wisdom on work and preparation. “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man (24:30-34).” “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly (26:16).”
What problems and issues might you deal with in life when tomorrow comes? How can you prepare and ready yourself today? Today is the day to work through what tomorrow may bring. There are surprises and no one can totally anticipate what the future will bring, but there are some certainties: bills to be paid, repairs to be made, food to be stored, and roofs to be fixed. Don’t get caught with a leaky roof; fix it today.