Have you ever thought you were doing really well at work, meeting all of your deadlines, giving of your time and energy, and then received a low evaluation from your boss or supervisor? Have you ever given fully of yourself in a course at school, only to receive a barely passing grade? What about your relationships? Have you had the experience of giving what you had to a relationship only to be rejected or derided by the other person?
You can seek answers to questions like this in all of the different areas of your life. Sometimes, we think we are doing just fine, only to find out that we are just getting by. Satisfactory. Average. Mediocre. I don't know about you, but when someone labels my efforts as just so-so, it burns me up inside. It stings. I am lead to feelings of hurt and embarrassment. I don't think it even matters if they are right or they are wrong. For some reason, being labeled as mediocre at anything I do just doesn't sit well with me. It fires me up and makes me take stock of where I am, what I am doing, and where I am going. I perform a full system review of my plans and strategies and efforts.
My pastor recently delivered a message on how we so often settle for mediocrity in how we live. He talked about how this can ultimately be a fatal course in our lives. The fact is though, that usually we don't end up living there based on one overt and clear decision or choice. We end up there after a serious of much more subtle compromises. Decisions lead to decision lead to decisions. Choices lead to choices lead to choices. Slowly and insideously, the course of our lives change. Emotionally, relationally, financially our foundations are weakened by the slow erosion of our choices. Reversing our course takes conscious effort. It takes hard work. It requires making difficult decisions. It takes strength of mind and strength of spirit. It takes an active prayer life and, most importantly, it means willfully and purposefully giving over control of your life to God.