A recent post, Anticipation: Waiting is Worth It looked at how our culture was so used to immediate gratification that we had lost the idea of working hard for a goal, of waiting for the best. I have been reading Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue by Andreas Köstenberger and this quotation, touches on the same ideas.
Diligence is hard. It is tough. It is far easier to slack off, take an easier road, follow shortcuts, or simply give up. Diligence is particularly difficult in our fast-food, microwave culture. As Americans, we don’t want to have to wait for results or labor and toil for future gain in the absence of immediate gratification. We want the maximum payoff for the smallest possible amount of labor. Modern-day technology, scientific advances, and other modern conveniences often allow us to get by with far less effort than previous generations had to expend, but merely “getting by” will never produce excellence. Excellence requires diligence, perseverance, and plan hard work.
Andreas Köstenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue, Crossway, 2011, p. 87.