Excellence = Bloom
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Once upon a time, someone close to me who shall remain nameless, wanted to surprise me and cleaned the kitchen while I was out running an errand.
I like to envision the sparkle in their eye, the pep in their step as they went about doing a little something they thought I’d appreciate.
The only trouble was, they only “sort of” cleaned the kitchen. Crumbs were all over the countertops, some stuck onto a glob of marinara sauce. Papers piled up into a corner, the floor had scraps of paper and crumbs all over it. And some clean dishes weren’t even put away – just set near the cupboard one might assume it’d be stored.
After I returned from my errand, I walked into the kitchen, tired. A messy home is a major stressor for me, and since the kitchen felt undone, I rolled up my sleeves and started cleaning it so I could turn in for the evening. This was odd to the person close to me who shall remain nameless – they were puzzled. A little hurt.
“So that’s it? That’s the response?” they said, hand on hips, exasperated.
“Uh, What?” I looked around to see if they were talking to someone behind me. “What are you talking about?”
“I cleaned the kitchen! You didn’t notice?”
Again, I turned around to see if they were talking to someone behind me about some other kitchen.
Sometimes I wonder if I pull this kind have half-hearted stuff on God too, expecting a full reward. Looking all silly with my hand on my hips like, “Ummmm, Lord – I sort of did this good thing when it was convenient for me to do so and I’m um, wondering where my blessing is?”
And then I envision God looking behind his shoulder, confused and saying, “Uh, you talkin’ to me?”
For most of us, our natural position is selfishness. And when we do an unselfish act, we usually look for some kind of reward. High praise. Advancement. Especially if we do it more than once!
Another natural position is laziness. And when we do something, kinda sorta, that we really don’t want to do, we also look for some kind of reward. High praise. Advancement. Especially if we do it longer than 5 minutes!
But that’s the thinking of someone who doesn’t fully understand who they are, who they were made to be, how they’ve been renewed and how they are intended to bloom.
Not only does blooming require suffering, it requires excellence. Discipline.
And excellence and discipline is such a drag! The person who only eats half their cake because they aren’t hungry anymore isn’t really my tribe, you know what I mean?
And yet …
Even though I’m still pretty young, I’ve lived long enough and dreamed big enough to realize that without being committed to excellence, discipline, consistency and integrity – I’ll never reach my fullest potential.
I won’t bear all the fruit I’ve been created to bear.
No one’s inspired by mediocrity. That stuff is easy. Everyone can do easy.
If you’re like me and you love God with your whole heart, nothing but giving your whole heart to everything you do– will do.
Excellence is a form of worship. It’s an expression of gratitude—it’s being so overwhelmed by the gifts we’ve been given, we refuse to waste it.
I’m not excellent most of the time. But I strive to be, and sometimes I come close. It’s hard work and I only succeed at it when I do it for God and I’m connected to the vine, always.
And when I do good work, nothing makes me giddier than to stand before the Lord and show it off to him, grinning like an idiot. Giggly and proud.
If I’m going to do something, pick up the crumbs. Make it sparkle. Do it right.
And do it for God, not the applause.
That’s true beauty. And it’s who you were created to be.
Someone of excellence. Integrity. Someone who does the right thing, even when it’s hard.
Someone, that is, in full bloom.