I work hard. I am not afraid of long hours or difficult tasks. When something needs doing, I'm going to do it well and efficiently. You know, it's the "do it right the first time" mentality. So naturally I take pride in my diligence.
It happens in an instant. One second, I'm working with "diligence," the next I am hastily disregarding key relationships and putting a higher priority on getting where I'm going than how I'm getting there. It's like I'm wearing blinders, and in doing so, I miss out on the beauty of life. This is when diligence becomes haste. For instance, I often work so fast that I don't listen to ideas that other people have, and I make everything I do intent on completing a task instead of caring for people and developing relationships. This hit home one morning as I read this simple verse from Proverbs:
"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty."
According to this verse, diligence and haste have opposite effects. As I began processing this concept, I thought, "OK, I get it, I need to slow down. No more rushing around. No more crammed schedules. It's just not worth it."
The next day I got a speeding ticket.
I was trying to beat traffic so I could save time, so that I could get to the coffee shop to finish emails, so I could get home. But, I missed my turn, so I had to go the back way, and in doing so, I was speeding and I went straight in a turn-only lane. Hence the traffic ticket. But God is rich in mercy. He allowed me to learn from my folly, to see that what I attempt to do in my own strength, in haste, is meaningless. God used this event to show me the importance of trusting Him completely with my time. It's not something I can master by reading a bible verse and then thinking, "I've got this." It is surrender, complete and whole-hearted abandon. Let us surrender our plans to the maker of all things.
"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."