We make all the plans in the world, only to have them fall through. We have very little control over our world. But we do have control over our own, individual action. It is the virtue of diligence that ensures that we use our time and our actions to their full potential.
Last week, we established that sloth is more than not doing things, it is also doing too much, and thus, interfering with our obligation to do everything God has called us to do. Diligence, sloth's antithesis, calls us to a life of dedicated hard work and belief in our lives. Just like sloth requires us to mindlessly cross things off of our to do list (or ignore it all together), diligence helps us to accomplish things with good intention.
Diligence gives us the strength to do all that needs to be done, without burning out or putting other, important things on the back burner. We live in a society where we constantly brag about how busy we are, how little sleep we have gotten, and we glorify the overly-busy, caffeine addict. The goal is to be the person who "has it all". But this is not diligence, it is just glorification of an unhealthy, dangerous lifestyle. We must budget our time wisely, giving each thing its proper time. Diligence requires us to not only give work its due time, but also family, friends, and our God. We have to monitor ourselves closely, being careful to not fall into a habitual rut that allows for a stagnant lifestyle.
We guard against sloth by giving everything its due time, by ensuring that we are living our lives to the fullness that God intended. After all, we were called to do more than just live, but also to thrive.