A J-BAR PRAYER
Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.
Our topic this morning is one of our Core Values: “Excellence in the Ordinary.”
Our society has become obsessed with minimum standards. As we grow up, we are always told what we need to do to “pass” a test, class, grade, school, to obtain a certificate or to get out of trouble with the authorities. There are countless other examples, but suffice to say, we are inundated with ideas that all we need to do is perform to some basic mediocre standards to live what society deems as an “acceptable” life. This “celebration of mediocrity” has become the standard for our modern world it seems and everyone gets a trophy for participation (one of my High School Coaches used to tell us that “Second Place was just First LOSER!”)
But, this celebration of mediocrity is not in accordance with God’s teachings nor is it conducive to a successful and happy life (amazing how those two coincide isn’t it?) The Bible is replete with statements that encourage us to do our best in all circumstances: Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether by speech or action, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, the Father through Him.” Matthew 6:4 “. . . Your Father sees secret things and He will reward you.”
The truth is that humans don’t get a lot of satisfaction out of “just getting by.” We all want to excel and be recognized, even if it is for one thing only; so whatever you do, do your best at it. Whatever you want to be, be the best at it that you can be. You are an amazing creation and what you do makes an incredible impact on the world around you as well.
The truth is also that we never know who is seeing our actions. We think we do, but that isn’t the case, or many of us would have never gotten into trouble. Our challenge is to remember that each and every thing that we do can be the thing that means “the world” to someone else and we can either lift them up by our Excellence in what we deem as Ordinary, or we can have the opposite effect and crush what might mean so much to someone else.
We are J-Bar — we are blessed beyond measure. We love — we are thankful beyond measure. We serve, and in so doing become the leaders that God wants us to be.