Tuesday, April 3, 2012

#4. Diligence doesn't mean doing it all.

For Everything, a Season
Last time, in our definition of diligence, we saw that diligence applies to what is undertaken.

What have I undertaken in my life?  To follow Christ.  To marry my husband.  To raise my baby girl.  To write books.  Those are the things that fill this season of my life.

So why do I feel guilty when I look at a box of odds and ends that could become sewing projects...but they aren't?  Or see websites advertising that my toddler could be reading before she's able to pull up her own pants...but she's not?  Or that I could be serving gourmet, organic, grinding-my-own flour meals to my family...but I'm not?

Because I still cling to the myth that I can do it all, all the time.  But is that really what God had in mind?

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.  He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame (10:4-5).

The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing (20:4).

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.  Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest (6:6-7).

Season Mom, Not SuperMom
If I had a garden outside my door (oh, how I long for that day!) and went outside right now, in April, and started to plow under my flowers and just-about-to-bud strawberry plants...wouldn't I look pretty ridiculous?  Wouldn't that seem...unproductive?

To everything there is a season, says the writer of Ecclesiastes.  In our modern times, we feel the pressure to do everything at once because technology and the convenience of help make it possible.

I could be doing some heavy book marketing these days.  I could crank up my social media time, send out emails and letters to churches and bookstores like crazy, I could travel and speak and gain a following.  And most likely, nobody would give me funny looks like I was plowing under a flower bed.

But this season of my life is for the things I listed above: my God, my man, my little one, and way after all those important things, I write.  And when things are really quiet, I can pick up my knitting or bring out the sewing machine or make a dinner that's more involved than spaghetti or something in the crockpot.

Diligence is not for doing everything; it is for doing the best things, the here and now things.  Will you join me here, now, in whatever it is your season calls for?

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