I had a discussion with my Mom a few years ago concerning my idea of excellence. "That's what's wrong," she said, “You always want people to offer their best; but, not everyone is like that!" "—Uh?" I said, "It doesn't matter to me whether they are like that or not, that's what I expect. —Why wouldn't everyone want to offer his or her best? What's the point of doing it, if you don't do your best? What happens if you drop dead tomorrow? All people can say about you, is that you were mediocre! –And, that you barely lived up to your potential! —Listen, I might not receive their best, but I always expect their best!"
As you can see, she was barely making a dent in my thought process. We understand that sometimes our best is just barely good given the circumstances. However, if our lives reflect Jesus Christ, shouldn't everything we do reflect our best? Let's say that you ask God for something specific; and, somehow you have a visual in your mind of what it is. When you receive it, doesn't it always exceed your expectations?
Speaking with her television audience, billionaire media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, recalled the day when she stood daydreaming, as a little girl, while washing dishes in her childhood home. As she washed the dishes, she began staring out the window over the sink at the lone tree in her backyard. Looking out the window at the tree, she began to contemplate the number of trees she needed in her future backyard that would make her feel truly wealthy. With the hopes and dreams of a child, she began her count with 3 trees; but, she did not stop there. “Maybe, she said, There should be four trees..., no five trees..., no six trees! " Then, she thought to herself, "–Yes, I would truly be wealthy if I could see 7 trees from my kitchen window!" And so, she prayed a little child's prayer to God, to place seven trees on her land that she could see from her kitchen window while washing the dishes.
Fast-forward 40+ years. Several years ago she bought a mansion in California. One day, as she was washing the dishes in her new kitchen, she looked out the window perched over the sink, admiring the magnificent landscape that the kitchen window overlooked. Looking at all the trees in blissful reverie, she suddenly remembered her childhood prayer to God; and, understanding the fullness of her blessing, she began to weep. She could not count all the trees on her land!
Be the best you can be; offer the best you can offer; and, do the very best you can when you can; because, God will always transcend your expectations. L.
Study Reference: John 17:4, Matthew 5:14-16
From: "Transcending Expectations." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
*Photo credit: Ag Right/ J. Knutson