I find myself at a place of freedom for which I have longed…and I don’t quite know how to act. When I was still working full-time everyday, I daydreamed of all the things I could be doing if I didn’t need to be at work. There is quite a long list of things I need to do and want to do, some of which I both want to do and need to do…yet, I’ve felt a lack of motivation, not having the external drive to punch the time clock to keep me on task. Now, I know what I need to do, but I have to find the internal drive to do it.
This has been a struggle for most of my life, having enough internal motivation to do the kind of things in life which require commitment and discipline. Sloth is the name for this. I used to only think of sloth as being lazy, however, I’ve learned that sloth actually has to do with a lack of diligence. A person can actually appear very busy and yet be considered slothful if they are keeping busy doing things other than what they know they are supposed to be doing. It is also true that sloth can be played out in our lives as sheer laziness. Either way, we can be avoiding the discipline required to follow through on God’s purposes for us.
True diligence is the opposite of sloth, and it may come as a surprise, but diligence is about love. Loving God, loving others, and loving ourselves are actually the truest part of being diligent. If you search the root of the word diligence, you will find that it comes from the Latin word, diligere, which means “to respect, esteem, love.” Hence, when we are diligent, we are loving/respecting/esteeming God, others, and ourselves. We can never truly become all God intended us to be, fulfill our purpose, for this life or the next, if we are unwilling to be disciplined and committed to the hard work of diligence, persisting in love to learn the habits which will lead to the growth of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives and ultimately develop the virtues of faith, hope, and, yes, love within us.
What was that I said? We have to be diligent, loving, respecting, and esteeming God, others and ourselves, in order for love to develop in us? WHAT? Yes, you heard me right….we must do the actions of love, towards God, others, and ourselves, in order to become love……..which is actually our final purpose, the greatest call within us….to be love….for this is God’s true image within each of us.
So here I am beginning again today to re-develop the habits I need to grow stronger in my love for God, others, and myself. What does that look like?
For me, I sat down last night and made a plan for today. I started the day loving my daughter, helping her get out the door to school. Next, I ate wisely and drank my coffee as I read my devotional emails, Bible verse of the day, and a portion of the book of the Bible I’m journeying through right now. I reached out to a couple people through email/social media to encourage them, and I posted something I found inspiring on my FB wall in the hopes that it might also inspire someone else. I wrote out a prayer, pouring out my heart to God, because I focus better on prayer when I write it, and then I tried to spend a few minutes practicing deep breathing and a centering prayer, while also listening for the Spirit speaking in me. Now, I’m writing this for both my benefit and hopefully for yours, also intending it as an acknowledgment to God and the world that I need Him, that I’m nothing without Him, and that I long to share Him with each of you.
My hope is to write more on this site so as to share my journey more and encourage whomever might read this. God didn’t bring me to this new place of freedom so that I could just kick back and enjoy it for myself….
If you would like to learn more about how I’m developing the disciplines and habits in my life and how you could also begin the journey to be more diligent in your own life, please see my “About” page on this blog, go to “Pieces Coaching” and learn more about how you and I could walk through some of this together.