By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX
Special to the NEWS
Excellence is a disciplined habit, rather than a learned skill or quantifiable goal. Little choices each day add up to big life changes in the future. Each life decision we habitually infuse with true and genuine excellence will trickle down into every other area of our lives, until we are no longer willing to accept mediocrity.
Once we know how it feels to say, I make this choice for my whole life and thereby refuse to waste time giving way to my feelings, we begin to trust ourselves. And the only way we will obtain excellence is once we are able to begin trusting ourselves.
If you’re anything like I am, this self-trust won’t come easily. Not long ago, the only thing I was sure I could do was ruin things. I am fortunate, however, to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who says I can do all things through Him (Philippians 4:13). My battles are His, and He says His burden is easy.
After finally giving up the notion that I could ever make the changes I desired to make on my own strength, I decided to believe Him. Through prayer, I handed Jesus one of my longest-fighting battles. Something I just could not shoulder for one more minute. Through His help, I jotted down a plan—some week-end goals, things which were manageable and fathomable.
The Scriptures say that our tongue holds the powers of life and death. This means we can actually speak something into existence, good or bad. And isn’t that true? Many of us say things such as: “I’ll never be able to do (blank)” or “(Blank) is too hard.” Such expressions are speaking negativity–or death–over our situations.
I was very guilty of using such verbiage. And admittedly, all I reaped was a tragic pile of despair. So, finally, after I’d set a goal and mapped out a way to attain it, I began to claim victory aloud, as if it had already happened. Even though I was alone at the time, claiming my goals aloud felt strange. But since saying things like, “I’ll never…,” had resulted in me “never” accomplishing my goal, I thought—for once—why not try a better way?
Proverbs says, “A person’s heart plans their own way, but the LORD directs their steps.” Well, my heart guided me to be excellent in my delivery. This meant devising a plan. I was about to face a long-standing life struggle. I knew it wouldn’t be easy or fun if had a bad attitude, so part one of my plan was to infuse the entire process with joy.
Next, I decided how to start and divided the steps into four manageable parts with reasonable and quantifiable goals. I now had a plan, and I had prayed about it, spoken life into it, and planned it with the Lord’s help.
Still, I didn’t know how I’d ever see good results, but that no longer mattered because the minute I prayed it away, my goal became Jesus’ problem. My work has been a lengthy process, but guess what? Because I vowed to do something toward my goal each day, and I immediately started cracking at the goal by doing a little bit daily, the problem has become smaller every day.
Since letting Jesus have my problem and deciding to become excellent in tackling this burden, I have seen many positive side-effects trickle down into other parts of my life. The coolest of these effects has to be the fact that—after letting Jesus help me with my biggest problem—other problems have begun solving themselves subsequently.
Just like one bad apple spoils a bushel, one joy-filled habit of excellence promotes another!
Excellence is a wonderful habit with farther-reaching effects than we realize. It knows no bounds. But better still is the love of our King, who is willing to infuse your life with all good gifts if only you will humble yourselves, admit you can’t solve your problem because you are your own biggest problem, and ask for His help. Then, be humble enough to receive the help. You might just wind up living the life of your dreams.