To practice diligence effectively, we must perform our tasks quietly and calmly, keeping our focus on what we do. Back in the very early days of my career in banking, when I was working a teller’s window, we had a very feisty woman on staff, named Marie Newman, that was known to have quipped, “If you can’t find the time to do it right in the first place, when are you going to find the time to fix your mistake?” I’m thankful that comment was not directed at me. Nonetheless, her overheard comment provided one of those moments in my life when I heard with such clarity words that will never fail me, nor will I ever forget. I have taken her words and applied them to my life’s work to practice diligence.
Saint Francis de Sales states in his book, Introduction to the Devout Life, “Never was anything done well that was done with haste and impetuosity…We always do that quickly enough which we do well…In all your undertakings rely wholly on God’s Providence” 1 Saint Francis de Sales is telling us that God will provide us with all that we need to complete our tasks well, in an appropriate time frame. It is up to us to avoid acting rushed and careless; or worse, exhibit procrastination and laziness. Rather, we need to develop habits of good time management, dedication and commitment to see tasks through to completion. By doing so, this is how we can practice diligence. In addition, we need to persevere when things do not go according to our own predetermined timeline. In these situations, we must refrain from worry and anxiety, because worry and anxiety do nothing but use up precious time that we can never get back.
What have you put off accomplishing that needs attention? What have you done in haste that now requires correction? When do you not practice diligence? Pray for diligence, and ask God to change your attitude, so that you may live up to the purpose for which God created you.
This concludes our rather lengthy series of those acquired virtues associated with the virtue of Faith. Next we move on to discuss two virtues associated with the Virtue of Hope: Confidence and Contentment. We’ll begin discussing Confidence in our next reflection. Don’t miss it!
1 De Sales, Francis. Philothea, or an Introduction to the Devout Life. p. 152, Charlotte: St. Benedict Press – TAN Books, Print 2010