The story is told of a hunter, who after three days of a particularly fruitless hunting trip, finally shot a deer. He hauled the deer to his cabin and was overcome with exhaustion from the trip and the effort. He knew he had to roast his game, but he yielded to his body’s cries for sleep and woke up only a day later. The game however, was by then a carcass spoilt by the scavengers of the forest and of no use to him.

The author of Proverbs in 12:27,28 speaks of roasting the game,

‘The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.’

The difference between an extra-ordinary outcome and a poor outcome is often only 5% of effort. Everyone starts of putting effort into the various projects in one’s life. As the going gets tough however, many are those who fall off the path. Exhaustion, emotion, prejudice, laziness, etc. are all factors that come into play preventing one from persisting. There is an inborn tendency in every man to complete what he has set out to achieve. However the sinful tendency also floods the soul with doubt and laziness. These compete with each other and success comes to those who through repetitive effort learn to hypertrophy their inborn tendency to persist, persevere and complete.

A contrast is drawn between the lazy and the diligent. Laziness or slothfulness is an attitude that is far removed from the spirit of God. A person, who considers his life to be a gift from God and all his effort to be a dedicated service to God, cannot be slothful. He is conscious of the influence his actions have on the lives of others, and he is careful to make the best good use of his brief life here on earth. Laziness or lethargy in decision-making is also borne by fear- fear of failure, of people and of circumstances. Diligence, on the other hand is being meticulous, hard working and conscientious in your efforts, so that what you have begun will be completed and your game would indeed be roasted.

In the same breath, the author of Proverbs also speaks of righteousness. Diligence is a by-product of a righteous life. All men live life by the standards they have defined as appropriate for themselves. Their belief systems especially their concept of God and the nature of this God will invariably determine their outlook to life and their practice. Life and immortality come only to those who espouse the way of righteousness. Jesus’ words, “I’m the way, the life and the truth, no one comes to the Father but through me” are especially significant in this regard. To one who chooses that path, will invariably also find diligence and productivity in his life.

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