3 June 2020
I recently heard an interview on the radio involving a gardener who was retiring after winning the gold medal
for his vegetables for ten years in a row.
When asked for the secret of his success he replied, 'I aim for perfection, but settle for excellence.'
When I was thinking of going for Reader training I consulted my Rector, he told me, 'Follow the rifleman's code, aim high.
Go for ordination,'
Although I looked into the possibility I knew God wasn't leading me down that route and eventually I became a Reader
(but that's another story!).
But his, 'Aim high.' has always stayed with me; sometimes we miss, but at least we can know we tried!
God didn't create us to be average, he didn't make us to just 'get by, we were made to excel.'
He puts us where he wants us, gives us the gifts we need to carry out the tasks he has for us,
and calls us to 'aim high' in our service for him.
In his first letter to the exiles who have fled Jerusalem following the persecutions Peter wrote,
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." 4:10
Paul also emphasises the importance of striving for excellence.
In his letter to the people of Philippi
"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14
And to the people of Colossus
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
You are serving the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:23-24
We have an amazing inheritance in Jesus,
an eternal inheritance made possible through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.
The Lord is always faithful to those who trust in Him and rely on His wisdom for guidance and direction,
but sadly many people fall short because they trust in their own wisdom and intellect and not the wisdom of God.
The Bible declares in Proverbs 3:5,6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."
God wants us to be dependent on him, full of joy and love and to share that joy and love with others.
What do we see in the people we meet in our day to day lives?
Do we see the colour of the skin?
Do we wonder whether they are wealthy or poor?
Or do we see a soul for whom Christ died-one whom He loves just as much as He loves us?
When we see each person as an individual whom Jesus loves, that person becomes valuable to us.
That is what He wants of us. Remember, every person we see is a person for whom Christ died; they are valuable.
The world may not value them, but God does and, as children of God, so should we.
If we do this, we will be motivated to work and help, where we can, in times of need.
May God help us to aim high-higher than we have ever before imagined!