January 28, 2020

Diligence: My 2020 Vision - Bruce Atchison

I'm not usually one who chooses mottos or listens for a word for each year but 2020 is different. I feel that "diligence" should be my watchword. The Bible certainly has plenty to say about the subject.

The Proverbs of Solomon are a rich source for gleaning wisdom. Proverbs 10:4 (BBE) reminds us, "He who is slow in his work becomes poor, but the hand of the ready worker gets in wealth."

I need to remind myself of that whenever I feel like checking my e-mail or watching YouTube videos. Practically none of that activity results in inspiring blog post ideas. It doesn't help me write my next book either.

Neither do I want to be under the economic thumb of any one but I'd rather earn money for the work I love doing. As Proverbs 12:24 (BBE) advises, "The hand of the ready worker will have authority, but he who is slow in his work will be put to forced work."

Likewise, I don't want opportunities to go to waste. Using a hunting metaphor, Solomon advises in Proverbs 12:27 (BBE) that, "He who is slow in his work does not go in search of food; but the ready worker gets much wealth."

I especially must master my wandering mind. It usually veers into the proverbial weeds instead of keeping focused on the path of creativity. Proverbs 21:5 (BBE) is a good reminder of this. "The purposes of the man of industry have their outcome only in wealth; but one who is over-quick in acting will only come to be in need."

Of course some apparent sloth is due to illness. I suffer from sleep apnea and using the CPAP machine gave me the horrors. Consequently, I feel groggy for the first part of my day and I sleep longer at night.

What I've decided to do is to use the groggy times for goofing off and the alert times for productivity. Much of what I do during the early part of my day is unimportant so it doesn't matter if I waste time then.

And since I can gain knowledge at any hour of the day or night through the Internet, I'll use those times of alertness for research. As Proverbs 18:15 (BBE) says, "The heart of the man of good sense gets knowledge; the ear of the wise is searching for knowledge."

I thank the Lord that he gave me the gift of writing and the even better gift of solitude. Both will certainly help me be creative but only if I use the opportunity of wakefulness to the maximum possible effect.


  1. Sounds like you've worked out a good system, Bruce. Keep on being diligent!

  2. Great word, Bruce. I have two words this year. One is similar to yours - FOCUS.
    I have sleep apnea too, so I understand your dilemma. The older masks were horrible. Now you can get ones that are much more comfortable. It's made a big difference for me.

  3. I like how you’ve intentionally organized your day to make the most of it. There’s a lesson in there for me too! The scriptures you used are also very interesting. God bless as you continue to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Pam Mytroen

  4. Thanks for all your nice comments. For some strange reason, I haven't been alerted to them. I'll see if I can fix that.

    1. I relate to your need for diligence, Bruce. I'm glad you chose this word for the year, and at the same time recognizing how you need down time.

      I'm glad you got alerted to the comments, Bruce. Over time, you've received a number of great affirmations!


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