Proverb 12:27 (NASB) A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence.
I wrote a few weeks back about selling my personal bow, and shooting a game of darts without a sight. My eldest daughter wanted to shoot the 300 spot tournament at the Iowa Deer Classic this past weekend. So, who am I to not oblige?!
Well, the past few weeks slipped away rather quickly. As of this past Friday, I still had not selected a new bow, didn’t have one set up and, consequently hadn’t been shooting during that time, either.
After finishing up with a customer Friday night, I selected my newest piece of equipment and proceeded setting it up and tuning it. By 2 am I had it shooting pretty well, but not sighted in. Saturday came and went at the Harley shop, followed by some late night customers in the archery shop. Upon their departure, I had some tweaking to do on my daughter’s bow so that she would be prepared for toeing the line on Sunday. Sunday morning came and I had to do some last minute sighting in, but was “ready”.
At the shoot, I didn’t do poorly, but I was far from shooting at the level I would like and know I’m capable. I ended the round with a not so terrible score considering I didn’t send 3 arrows.
This experience taught me a very humbling lesson, though. I was far from being able to perform at the level I’m accustomed to. I was shooting unfamiliar equipment, in competition, under pressure, out of shape and it showed. The combination of variables along with a mere three week absence showed me the absolute need for diligence. It was only 3 weeks, and I’ve shot consistently week after week for years, how could a mere 3 weeks erode my form, strength and endurance so much?
Well, it did. It always does. It is especially true of our performance as followers of Jesus Christ. I know I have written on this topic a number of times, in a number of ways. I keep going back to it, because God keeps reminding me of it. Why?… because it is of utmost performance and we all fall victim to it. If you are to be good, really good, great even, at anything, you must first care about it, then diligently pursue it. You must have a process, a plan and diligently execute on that plan. Process, diligent repetition, develops muscle memory and decreases the possibility of break down. In our walk with, relationship with our Lord and Savior, we must perform diligently. We must have a process in place that creates in us a muscle memory for connecting with and knowing Jesus Christ. We must diligently pursue consistent time in prayer and conversation with Jesus. We must diligently seek all that He offers through His word. We must diligently seek to hone our skills of observation and listening for and to Him.
When things are breaking down around and in you, do you first and foremost look at how you are performing in your relationship with Jesus? Do you look inward? Can you honestly say you are diligently and consistently pushing and pursuing your relationship with the Lord? More often than not, I have to answer no. In that answer I also know that it is the primary reason for most of the breakdowns.
In Proverbs 12:27 it says a lazy man will not be successful. Success requires diligence. As this proverb alludes to, the times I experience the greatest successes in the field are when I have been the most diligent in my preparation and execution.
You could substitute distracted, busy, overwhelmed, mismanaged, misguided, and any number of words for lazy in this proverb and the result would be the same. Anything that competes with our diligence in pursuit of Jesus Christ will result in sub par performance. So, this weekend, think about how much you care to know Jesus. Then, ask yourself, does my level of diligence reflect that? Have a blessed weekend.
2 Peter 1:5-7 (NASB) Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,