One of the difficult things about life is that it just keeps coming at us. Thank goodness for sleep! There are no real breaks when it comes to exercising our judgement, discerning our choices, and deciding on a perspective.

We are tempted to try to find one. To halt the carousel. To get off the merry-go-round. Some of us have made our entire life’s goal to try to avoid the choices we inevitably make: who we trust, what we invest in, how we spend our time.

Solomon warns here in Proverbs that this is a dangerous approach. It is foolishness; it leads to apathy, atrophy, and destruction.

But the carousel of life is not about misery. It is an opportunity. We can choose to see our life as a once-in-an-existence chance to live by faith. To trust God in a variety of circumstances. To explore the beauty that accompanies mystery. To participate in something bigger than ourselves with the people God has placed around us.

Diligence is not about holding ourselves to impossible standards. It is not about being “perfect” all of the time, in a pass/fail sort of way. Diligence is not about maintaining circumstantial perfection, it is about continuing to try. It is our courage and our effort that need to be maintained, not the spinning plates of circumstance or emotion.

A true perspective keeps us alert and focused. It keeps us active. When we see life for the opportunity it is, we choose effort and joy over misery and destruction.

“I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”
– Proverbs 24:30-34