We have a lot going on in our lives these days. Sometimes we just hope to maintain a balance of things; we can’t seemingly give our all at everything, and we can’t give too much to one thing or else we take away from what we could give to something else. By all means, balance is good (and healthy).
But… what about the times where nothing else affects something you’re doing? What if you could choose to put your all into something, or only do just barely enough to say, “yeah, I did that”? What if at the end of accomplishing a task–yard work, running at the track, school work, etc.–you could look back at what you just did and know, “I really did my very best”? I feel like this concept is becoming more and more lost in our society today because a lot of time we allow ourselves to get distracted by the next thing before we finish whatever it is that we’re currently doing. Like the play we observe in baseball when a fielder has a ball hit their way and they know they’ve gotta gun down the runner heading to second base. What happens? The fielder either misses the grab because he was too busy thinking about the throw he was going to make before he even caught the ball; or, he catches it, but he gets over-confident in the through he’s about to make to second and throws it past the baseman, and the runner not only takes second but is likely heading to third. In either case, the fielder did not execute the play.
So how is “giving it all you’ve got” or “doing your very best” relevant to the Gospel of Christ? Shouldn’t we be relying upon the strength that Christ gives us and in the purpose and plan of The Lord? Oh absolutely! However, we should be giving our ALL when it comes to the things that God has us doing. Always, and without exception. For example, when we started Awaken two years ago Steph and I put together a lesson plan with the hopes that we would have 30 kids show up; at most we had eight, and only two of those came without fail. Time to dial it down a notch with the expectations right? The question of how many kids we should prepare to teach did cross my mind, but we committed to the same plan of teaching and discipling these students, whether we had 2 or 30 show up, and in time The Lord has blessed that.
I used a ministry example, but don’t be mistaken in thinking that this is the only place where God wants our best. If you’re employed and claim to follow Jesus, your work ethic had better reflect that of someone hoping to serve The Lord while on the job. If you’re a student and you’re following Christ, you honor Him in your efforts in school as well. Do you think negligence to your studies pleases Him?
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ”
– 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
I heard a sermon given by Paul Washer once in which he quoted this Scripture. He followed it up with saying, “When was the last time that you drank a glass of water to the glory of God?” I leave you with two things: one, every time I down a glass of water, I seriously think of Washer’s quote and the reference to this Scripture; and two, even in simple tasks where we exert minimal effort, God finds a way to be glorified. How much more is He when the most special of His creation offers as an act of worship our very best efforts in the things that we do?
As we learned from our Fuge quiet time study… be excellent. If doing my very best means being weird, I’m in!