Life from the rear-view mirror

The long road to Excellence? …..Vol 71

January 8, 2014 | Comment

1416378_10201585174605656_1414991566_oI really enjoy turning pens on a small wood lathe…I mean…I REALLY enjoy it. It helps me re-focus, re-lax and re-juvinate along with other words that don’t start with “re” …like “frustrating,” “maddening” and phrases like “why the heck am I doing this?” and a few un-repeatables….yes…lots of words and phrases.

When I made the investment of money and time…I never intended to be satisfied with mediocre. My intention was to turn out fine writing instruments on my lathe…not just “pens.” My hope was to hone whatever skills I had or could acquire, get some help from some experts and turn out a product I could be proud of…and that other people would admire and maybe, hopefully, purchase.

The road to excellence in the pen-making endeavor is long. They say it takes about 10,000 hours to be a “master craftsman” or master pen-turner in my case. Let’s see …on a good week I might get 6-8 hours in the shop. So that’s… (looking for my calculator…) like… 32 years to become a master pen-turner. Here’s a news flash…I’ll be gumming my food by then.  Man…I should have started turning pens a loooong time ago if being a master was my goal.

But I didn’t start a long time ago. Even so…I still want to pursue excellence. I still want to be as close to a “master” as I possibly can be while I can still work at, and on, my craft. So I read about pen making, I’ve taken classes, watched videos and I turn as many pens as I can with as much skill and care as I can muster. As it turns out, I’m actually pretty good at it…but nowhere near where I could be.

We have a tendency as believers to be satisfied where we are in our spiritual life. No matter when we come to Christ. Oh we’ll get excited now and then and maybe commit some money to a church project or maybe try to make a deal with God for a sick child, promotion at work, or some big personal need.

But that feels like crisis Christianity to me.

Like God is there at our beck and call, rather than as the loving sovereign Father he is, whose love overwhelms every believer’s circumstance and places it under our feet.

The Bible says that “we are more than conquerors.” That statement incorporates all the forward thinking, forward moving, “life on purpose” principles in scripture that enable us to live above our circumstances and pursue a life of excellence for Christ’s sake.

Whatever you put your hand to do…do it with all your heart. You can only work and plan and go and do…as God gives breath. So lets make life count for Christ.

And remember that God is often more interested in what happens in us than what happens to us.

Be a better you! I’ll be a better me! Lets see what God does through us this year…

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