Our Job Is Not To Be The Best
(Except for maybe on homework because I just never saw/still don't see the point.)
It is both a curse and a blessing.
It is a blessing in that, generally speaking doing your best is a good thing. It has been said and it is true that excellent work glorifies God.
But it can also be a curse when we are unable to be satisfied with the result of our good works. When the result of our work isn’t what we necessarily imagined it would be or when we define excellence in a worldly way.
And it is a curse even moreso when our actions have been affirmed and recognized as right and/or righteous and we still sit in self-pity and sorrow, and become blinded by our pride and our own unmet expectations.
That, is the devil's work at its finest.
I struggle with this a lot at work. Often times there are situations where I have to act quickly and make decisions in a rush. And sometimes, I do make mistakes - I misjudge, or fail to trust my own instincts.
But even when I don't - even when I did everything I could do - if the outcomes are unfavorable, I still struggle to find peace.
I replay every moment. I replay every thought. Every shadow of a doubt or hesitation that flashed through my mind. Hundreds and hundreds of times.
I've done it all night even as I'm writing this post on my phone at midnight.
(Even though I've already watched like 5 episodes of gilmore girls in attempt to clear my mind.)
Even though I know, there is nothing more we could've done.
And when I'm done replaying what did happen...
I imagine even the conversations that I WISH I would've had with the family members, but I didn't.
I pray the prayers for them that I wish I would've prayed WITH them, but I didn't.
And as I've been laying here, thinking through this all, I can't help but to think that maybe, just maybe God isn't asking us to be THE best.
And that maybe, just maybe, He just wants us to be obedient.
Because when we strive to be the best, our joy is stolen from us by outcomes and comparison.
But when we strive to be obedient, our joy increases because our intimacy with God increases.
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11
And when His spirit in us increases so does His goodness. And so does His greatness. And so does His best.
You see, one of the reasons I want to be the best is because I want the praise. I want the glory. I want the affirmation that I am actually a good nurse (or a good writer or a good athlete and sometimes even a good Christian if I'm being completely transparent).
But when we walk humbly with our God, we free ourselves from the weight of not living up to expectations and we free ourselves from finding our worth in others or in outcomes.
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
God doesn't call us to strive to be the best. He calls us to know that He is the best. And that by His grace and His mercy He allows us to take part in His good works.
I will always fall short of the best - there is always room for improvement. But with His Spirit in me, I pray that His courage and His strength and His glory shine through my life and my words so that more will come to know of His goodness and that He, is ultimately, the best of all things.
"You have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10