By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through …
- Nehemiah 2:13-14
In today’s passage we get a closer look at Nehemiah’s due diligence period. It wasn’t enough for him to have a clear call from God to do the work, he had to have a good understanding of what actually needed to be done.
Taking the time to do due diligence requires discipline, patience, and focus.
Nehemiah’s project would turn out to be something that would require the entire community to contribute to in order for it to happen. He couldn’t pull off the whole thing by himself. He knew this. He would need to be able to recruit, to direct, and to delegate. Getting a clear picture of the lay of the land allowed him to do this. Even though it delayed the start of his work, it was essential to the project’s success.
Doing due diligence work can be a tremendous challenge. Impatient for results, we want to start as soon as possible. “God called us!” we say, “we won’t drag our feet.” Throughout Nehemiah’s story, we read of him taking these multi-day pauses – to pray, to research, to celebrate – even though the work is urgent and important. These pauses were essential to the success of the project.
In all of our lives, there will be times when it’s clear that we’re called to build or re-build something that matters immensely: a family, a marriage, a business, a department, our finances, a damaged relationship, a non-profit or a ministry. And given the enormity of the task, some of us can get impatient to start. Nehemiah shows us the better way: a patient due diligence process that prepares us to step into the work we’ve been given to do in a knowledgeable, prepared way.
What has been your experience with due diligence when embarking on projects and adventures with the Lord?