I was thinking about that as I spoke with a student recently about his career plans. This young man, a senior in high school, with great theatrical talent, told me how others constantly remind him of how few people really "make it" in the theater. I agreed that those he had talked to were correct. Indeed, many of my students do dream of performing on stage or film and yet, historically only a few are living that dream. But I wanted him to focus on those who do "make it". What was different about them? Some would say it is luck. But most successful people, of any field, will tell you that what kept them on the road toward their destination was hard work. Diligence.
At just over the two week mark into 2008, I am finding that I need to be reminded of just how this "diligence" thing works. For I am quite sure that diligence doesn't mean "try hard for the first few days of the year and then coast". Nope. Diligence is defined as "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken", "steady effort", "attentive care". Constant, earnest, steady, attentive. Not quick. Not temporary. Not rash. It is a life change that He seeks, not a momentary blink. It is a renewing and not a short term fix. It is a steady endurance of all that may come our way in order to reach our final destination. It is this constancy, earnestness, steadiness, and attentiveness that He is characterized by. So when Christ calls me to be diligent, He is calling me to follow on His road. For He himself, our Savior, traveled down a path that had a lot of exits available, none of which He took. Hebrews 12:2,3 finishes with "who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. "
Lord, let me remember your own endurance of the cross when I grow weary on my sometimes long road.
Ezra 7:23 says:
"Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven..."
1 Timothy 4:15 reads:
"Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress."
Lord, I desire to give all my desires, dreams, and goals wholly to You, being diligent in my pursuits so that all will know I am Yours.
Oh Father, forgive me for so often taking the exit ramp instead of persevering down this road. Help me to stay on the path you have set before me. I await the day I arrive at my final destination, looking up into Your Devine presence. For the fullness of Your Glory awaits me! That is worth the long road!