Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tests, Excellence, and Worship

So I've had two tests already this week and I've another headed my way on Friday. The first one I was woefully unprepared for, thanks to a combination of my injured arm causing me to fall behind in other classes and thus devote more time to them; and the second I was largely prepared for but was unable to remember a few equations. I'm not much looking forward to the next one, which is in my currently least liked class... Physical Math II. There's been a great deal of frustration in the midst of it, but such is life.

And it's dramatically reminded me of the need to commit ourselves to excellence in everything, including our studies. It's so easy, as I noted a few days ago, for our priorities to get off, and to lose sight of what we ought to be doing and when. Sometimes, much as we might rather be doing some "ministry," we're far better off disciplining ourselves to do the things we need to do. Responsibility is an essential part of life, and when we abdicate our responsibilities we are actually being in active disobedience to our Lord. It's all too easy a thing to find ourselves so caught up on our ministries that we forget that we establish a testimony in the quality of our work just as much (if not sometimes more) than we do by being around people. Having a reputation for reliability and integrity is an essential part of who we are as believers, and something that truly sets us apart in a world where the highest priority is often the advancement of one's own pleasure - at the cost of all else.

At the most basic level, I find myself reminded that the pursuit of excellence ought to be ever our goal. If we are really doing all things as unto the Lord, before whom we're ultimately accountable, then our standard ought to be the most excellent presentation we can achieve. The requirement for our life in the here and now is not perfection - that is unattainable, though we certainly are being perfected - but rather that we give our all, submitted to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and dedicated to the vision of seeing God glorified. I think we talk about this concept the most in the concept of music or art, and how that relates to worship, but we too-often fail to carry that mentality over into the rest of our lives. We forget that worship is an entire paradigm - not something we do in church on Sundays or at our campus ministry. It is something to which we commit ourselves wholly and completely, with both mind and heart, seeking to really bring glory to God in everything we say, ine verything we do, even in the things we think.

Including tests. Including classes we can't stand. Including contemplating our future and our past. Including every part of our lives. Excellence for the sake of worship.

- Chris

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