I have a dear friend who is a prayer partner of mine. Last year, she asked me how she could best pray for me throughout the year–in one word.
Those who know me know that I’m never short on words. So to drill my thoughts and focus down to one seemed like a real challenge, but it quickly came off my tongue—diligence.
Many things in life we should approach with “due diligence.” In addition to being used as a term relating to “the investigation of a business or person,” Wikipedia defines it also as “an act with a certain standard of care.” It goes on to say that “due diligence contributes significantly to informed decision making by enhancing the amount and quality of information available to decision makers.”
When my son was in high school, I told him that I was extremely proud of the fact that he had lots of different interests. That kind of “talent buffet” made him (still does) incredibly interesting to be around. He can talk to lots of people about a lot of different things because he’s dabbled in lots of them. The one drawback to that, though, is that it’s extremely difficult to excel in anything. He simply couldn’t bring himself to “give up” any activity to concentrate primarily, much less only, on one. I so wanted him to “decide” to “enhance the quality” of stuff in his life and focus on something in which he could strive for true excellence.
Then, the proverbial light bulb turned on. He was me! Too many interests, too many choices, too little time, and, many times, too little energy.
I longed for that same focus for myself—a single, strategic goal and the fulfillment that striving for excellence in that “one thing” could bring. And at our most basic level, isn’t that what we all long for? Like Rick Warren’s huge bestseller “The Purpose-Driven Life,” the question is central—why am I here? What difference can I make? What difference DO I make?
I need to “do diligence.” I need to be more intentional in more things. I’ll confess that I have often felt this conflict greatest in church-related ministries, even church relationships. I seemed to have been incredibly content in simply doing my thing, or more accurately “things,” without much thought, strategy, or intent. Some things, perhaps, came a bit too easily; others seemed to demand too much. Was I willing to sacrifice time, convenience, even comfort, for something that could bring a greater sense of purpose? Greater joy? More importantly, greater glory for the Father?
I’ve made some strides, but I’m still a work in progress. Thank goodness, as long as I have breath in my body, the Lord isn’t finished me with yet!
Scripture says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23), and, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Father, help me “do diligence”!