Excellence

I am borrowing this topic from what our church's worship leader shared at tonight's choir and orchestra rehearsal. Thanks, Andy!

What comes to mind when you think of the word, excellence?

Some thoughts people shouted out tonight in rehearsal when Andy asked that question were: perseverance, practice, endurance, giving your all.

Let me ask a further question. What is an area of your life in which God is calling you to pursue excellence?

This is a stressful topic for me to think about tonight because, to me, excellence seems to be a word that narrows, and I believe God has given me a word to meditate on and practice this year that broadens: serve.

Think about it. When I think of an excellent pianist, I think of my friend who practiced 4+ hours a day in addition to teaching piano as her full-time job. That is a narrow path. While she did serve at church frequently with her gift of piano, she didn't have a whole lot of time for other tasks. When I think of serving, I think of doing a lot of kind, loving things for a lot of people - cooking meals, driving to appointments, babysitting, cleaning houses - and while I'm sure many people can do these much better than I can, it seems there are far too many service opportunities to do any excellently.

How do I serve, and serve, and serve, whatever God puts in front of me, with excellence? How do I just keep doing the next thing God gives me to do, but continue to give my whole self? Won't I run out of... self?

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

God wants us to hand over our whole selves - everything we are, everything we have - to Him, and to do this as worship. Singing for Almighty God is worship. Dancing for Jesus is worship. Washing my dishes creates a peaceful environment at home and serves my family, which is worship. Taking extra time to make a yummy meal for someone in need is worship. Studying hard and working well honors God with your mind and body, and that is worship.

This is overwhelming because I think I must not be able to do everything with excellence. But what am I feeling? Anxiety. And what does He command us?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6

I can't do it all. I just can't. But God tells me to not be conformed to this world - in which people run around, getting anxious and trying to do things in their own strength - and to renew my mind and pray for discernment. He promises to give us peace. He doesn't promise to give us an easier or smaller task list, but He will give us peace.

When we live full of the peace that passes understanding, we live empowered to do all things through Christ's strength. And His strength is excellent.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.

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