Do it well/hard things!
Most of the good stories that are worth telling are filled with people taking on something challenging or having to choose to do a hard thing. There are the great faith stories, like David taking on Goliath or Esther speaking to the king on behalf of her people. And there are also the good fiction stories, such as (in the Lord of the Rings) Frodo offering to take the ring to Mordor, which we all know, one does not simply walk into! I think we all want our lives to be a story worth telling, yet generally we seek and are used to easy lives. Now to some degree this is a good thing, however, somewhere along the way we started avoiding doing difficult things. If you think about it, I am sure you will find things that you want to do, but have not done because it is difficult or will take hard work. In my life there are some further qualifications that I always wanted to complete, but I have not done it because I know it is difficult to work and study. It is not easy doing hard things (obviously) but it is rewarding. We also find, as we choose to do hard things, that our ability and capacity to do hard things increases.
Along with doing hard things, I also want to encourage you to choose to do things well. When I was at university I often heard phrases from fellow students like "Well at least I passed", or "I think I did enough" or even "That was easy, I worked too hard". I know it is cliché, but I think it is better to focus on doing your best. For some people, passing is a good result. But for others who can do better, why should they not give their best? Why is it "cool" to not try hard, to be laid back about everything. For sure, seeing someone do something effortlessly is enjoyable. For example, for the sports fans, when Federer plays tennis and he easily moves and plays it is enthralling to watch. But behind all of that, there are hours and hours of practise and hard work. A famous golf player by the name of Gary Player once said, "The more I practice, the luckier I get". And what he meant was that golf is a game of luck, no matter how good you are, you cannot get a hole-in-one on every hole. But the more you pratice, the more work you put in, the higher your chances are. Hard work leads to better results.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 it says "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Our actions and our efforts can bring glory to God. Right from the little everyday things to the biggest challenges of our lives, each of these things we can do in a way that glorifies God. However, I am fairly sure that doing them half-hearted is not the way to achieve this. Let us be a people that do things to the best of our ability, because we are doing them for the King of kings!
Along with this, there is an honour in doing things well, even if they are simple or mundane things. As Martin Luther King Jr. said “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Some things are just for yourself, like putting extra effort in when making yourself a meal or pushing yourself when doing a workout. Some things affect other people, for example doing your job well which benefits your company, or doing chores well, which benefits your whole household. Other things may have an impact on many people that you may never see or realise, for example, recycling and conservation, which can affect future generations.
Some things get rewarded, like when you work hard and your boss rewards you or your company promotes you. Some never get noticed (on earth), but I believe that by giving our best we please God, and build our capacity for doing things well and doing other hard things in the future.
Let us live the one life that we have been given well, not shrinking back from difficult things. Let us do all that we put our hand (or mind) to with excellence, and so glorify our Father in heaven!
Written by Justin