Time and time again, hubby has said this to me. So annoying. Yep, I said it, sometimes hearing that just totally gets on my last nerve. You know why? Because I don’t think we shouldn’t be expecting greatness from others. Maybe it’s a relationship, a work obligation, or maybe it’s just something super simple like someone not holding a door for you while shuttling three kids and an infant in an infant carrier into a store and then they look at you as the door slams in your toddlers face and says, “you really have your hands full!” <<insert HUGE eye roll here>> I expect more from people. Sorry, not sorry? No, I really am not sorry. In my heart of hearts I think we can all do a little better. This world has us running around thinking we have to do more, buy more, be more, see more…and in reality by filling all of our time with all this fluff stuff, we are missing all the simple details of excellence we are called to. We have hustled ourselves into a stupor of numbness. Robot like numbness where usually the only thing we are thinking about is what other people are thinking of us, and yet, it still holds us back and someone is always being let down…usually ourselves. And then there are the ‘well they didn’t this, so I’m not going to do this’…keeping it classy peeps.
That’s not how I roll, anymore, and that’s not how I want my kids to roll. I don’t want them thinking ‘good enough’ is OK. I want them doing the extra, going the extra mile, doing the ‘and then some’. That doesn’t mean doing the everything. I think this is where we mess up. We think doing good is doing everything and it’s not. I know we have full schedules, full homes and full everything. So much so that when we finally do stop, we do just that, stop and fall over. We numb ourselves (insert your drug of choice – TV, food, alcohol or more stuff) to forget that we have to do it all over again tomorrow but with something else added. What if we stopped and were intentional about that ‘to do’ list? What if we said ‘no’ to a few things? What if by doing this we saw our relationships bloom because we had time to talk to our spouse before we were too tired. What if this allowed us to write a note to a friend and pop it in the mail? What if this gave us the opportunity to go to bed earlier and get up earlier, rested so our morning wasn’t rushed? What if it gave us time to sit around the dinner table with our children instead of rushing to the next practice. And what if we dealt with the hard stuff to free ourselves so that we could give from our hearts more freely? <<que in What a Wonderful World>>
I mess up the details all the time. I forget people’s birthdays, I forget to respond to emails, I forget to ship an order here and there….none of us are perfect. We are humans, by default we mess up. But if our heart is right I find the mess ups to be less and when they do happen, the forgiveness to be greater. But I think if we stop trying to be perfect and instead try to do fewer things with excellence we would all be a little more successful. Being perfect requires no flaws, well then I’m out. I am full of flaws and know that no matter how much I try it will be flawed in some way. But excellence, is the quality of being outstanding…I love the synonyms distinction and quality in relation to excellence. What sets you apart…not what makes you perfect. What do you do that sets you apart? What are the gifts and qualities that God gave you that make you uniquely you. If we focus on them and let them leach out into the lives of those around us, then we are exuding excellence. And a lot of us wouldn’t be let down quite as often. What’s that saying…life is in the details. Maybe we need to be more about the details than the big picture. All those details aren’t accidents, they are all on-purposes…from the way you are greeted at your favorite restaurant (it’s your favorite because of all the details right?) to the way your best friend sets out your favorite cookie when you get together to the freckle on your son’s nose…all details, all for our pleasure, all on purpose. All planned intentionally to bring joy to someone. Can we apply that in our relationships, work and faith…absolutely!
So yes, I do get let down, but I also do my share of letting down. I pray I can be a good leader to our children by setting the tone of ‘doing all things with excellence to glorify God’ in our home and community. Not letting the comparison bug get the best of me, and allow all my works to be work done for Him that allow others to see Christ in me. I always have that ‘what would Jesus do’ playing in the back of my mind. Would he entertain the crying toddler while the mom paid for her groceries or would he look for a different line? Would he say no to the extra practice, class, etc to say ‘yes’ to slow dinners to share and linger. I think he honors us when we make intentional choices to allow ourselves to grow in excellence in all that we do.
Would you leave a note for us in the comments to tell us the areas you are working on growing in excellence? In return we will share some of ours with you 🙂