In a race, we do not glue our eyes on the finish line for too long. We first start looking at the runners who are carrying the desire to cross the long red ribbon set before them, who are running properly, who are making their bones and muscles work hand-in-hand with each step, and who are continually moving forward with the objective to finish.
Even when some of our favorite runners are not on the track, we sometimes research about them. We would not only wonder about the number of races they have won, but we also find ourselves in fascination about their lifestyle. We like to know how they maintain their physiques, how they increase their endurance, and how they improve on the other aspects, beyond just being runners.
We all know the beauty destination possesses, but in the long run, how we get there matters more.
God has the same ways with us when it comes to our approach in seeing the runners. He is already aware of the perfect things He wants His children to achieve, so it is not His focus. In fact, He is the One who sets endeavors for us to take. The last thing He will look at is the prize, and the first thing He will care about is your conquest towards what He had set for you.
Life goals, or those fulfilling dreams that God happily presses in our hearts, are perfections itself. In Romans 12:2, Paul described God’s will as good, pleasing, and perfect. It is a given that we are all made for greatness. We are all destined to be successful in life. But excellence is not seen on the perfect goal; it is seen in the process of acquiring it.
Striving for excellence along the way is a way of worshipping God. Choosing to pursue excellence over perfection is an admission that we cannot do things on our own and we are not flawless, yet we are willing to give our best shot at everything assigned to us to accomplish, from the small ones to the big ones, because we want to glorify Him. He wants us to always put in mind that He is with us, not to be blinded by perfection’s attributes.
Mere perfection does not give you the whole fulfillment, but to excel by doing what is right is satisfying. It is better to get average grades without succumbing to cheating than to get high ones because of preparing little pieces of paper that contain discussion notes. It is better to be on top without stepping down on others than to be in such high position while hurting people. The fruits meant to be produced will not be in their finest state if the tree underwent a bad growth process. Proof of growth or stagnation can be seen in the journey, which is why it is very important.
Runners listen and connect their decisions and ways to their coaches’ instructions for improvement of performance. What the coach says is the truth they hold on to. We will be able to achieve excellence if we apply what is written in the Bible in our lives well, especially in the tests of life. The Bible is God’s message to us that guides us in our way to success.
May we be runners who strive for excellence by pursuing the Truth, because in life’s finish line, the one who bears the Truth, no matter how imperfect he or she may be, is the victorious.
By Andrea Lim