"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, and self control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love." ~ 2 Peter 1:5-7 (CEV)
Diligence and excellence…
When I was in college, I met a man who became an Army Ranger, Delta Force actually.
Over the years, he became a very dear friend.
At one point, he was stationed outside of Frankfurt, Germany and I was fortunate to go for a visit.
We had a wonderful time as Bavarian tourists. He took me to a monastery in the mountains where they made delicious food and brewed very dark beer. We visited Rotenberg. We walked the streets of Bad Kissingen.
Of all of the wonderful new sights, sounds, flavors, and experiences I had on that trip, I think the thing I recall most was a declaration printed on a simple piece of paper affixed to his wall. It read, “It’s all a matter of discipline.”
I cannot tell you how many times I have repeated that to myself in the past almost 20 years (oh my goodness I’m getting old. ;) )
Many years later I took a series of classes in which we were often encouraged, before beginning a task or whenever it seemed important, to declare who we were committed to being. So many times for me that included diligence and excellence, honor and integrity.
I believe we all want to be better today than we were yesterday, better tomorrow than we are today, far better in five or ten years than we are now... by whatever measure, whatever that means to us.
In a culture where the easy answer is so often sought, how are we to best incorporate diligence and excellence in our day to day?
The answer is of course simultaneously simple and quite a challenge for most mere mortals... We choose to act with discipline, diligence, excellence, honor, integrity, moment by moment, day by day.
And, once again, we come to our Jesus-lover super-power... the Holy Spirit.
How many people want to be more fit, have greater financial stability and security, or find time for something that matters?
When the critical moment arrives, how many of us choose to sit on the couch rather than move our booty, spend on frivolous unimportant things rather than put away pennies, or flip on the television rather than spend precious time investing in whatever matters to us, whatever is essential to the tasks He has put us on this earth to complete.
I’m not saying television is bad or wrong, nor necessarily any of the other things we go to for avoidance. I’m simply suggesting, perhaps each one is an indulgence that might be managed in measured doses.
I am of the opinion that if we're willing to exercise excellence and an authentic commitment to what matters in each of our lives, choosing in any given moment that which best serves our overall purpose and personal mission statement, we can accomplish just about anything.
By the way, I’m also fond of the phrase “time well wasted.”
Not all time spent in frivolous pursuits is squandered, sometimes it is very healthy, just what we need… when it is done intentionally. Though, when it comes down to it, I suppose that too is something done with diligence.
Ah, how it all comes back to that.
Wishing us all ever-greater skill in exercising discipline in the realms of time, finance, skill development, wellness, and anything else that matters to each and every one of us.
Thank You, Father, for standing for us and with us.
Thank You, that with You, anything we imagine, all You've planted in our hearts, is possible.
Thank You, that within Your Will, the possibilities are boundless.
Thank You, for helping us to walk in Your Way.
"The LORD said, 'If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." ~ Genesis 11:6 (CSB)
"In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are." ~ Romans 8:26a (GNT)
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you." ~ John 14:26 (BSB)
"The slacker wants it all and ends up with nothing, but the hard worker ends up with all that he longed for." ~ Proverbs 13:4 (TPT)
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going." ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NASB)
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥