In my pursuit(s) of excellence, this is what I try to remember.
we have failed to notice
that we must put effort
into living a life
worthy of our
magnificently mysterious creation.
Let me define my terms here.
“We have failed to notice”
We forget. That is the simple answer. We forget about ourselves. We forget what it means for our life. We go about our lives, not seeing our legs move when we tell them too, not really noticing that our fingers type the letters we want them to type, our eyes adjust depending on the light level, the insanity of breathing – I mean, just for a second, imagine this: breath comes into our body, follows its path, enters our heart (we could talk about the heart too), pushes around in the heart, chemistry inserts the oxygen into our blood stream, it floats through our body, flowing from the top of our skull to the end of our toes (all of them), and then more breath comes in, and you don’t even have to tell your body to do that; from the second you are born, your body knows what to do with air. All this and more, we forget about. Until we stop for a second and feel the air in our nose – in breath, out breath.
“that we must put effort / into living a life”
Once we remember our breath and our fingers and our eyes, we must put effort into using it well. Your fingers were not made to curl into a fist and hurt another soul, no. Your fingers were made to curl into a fist around your mom’s finger when your brain was too little to know what you needed, but your fingers knew on their own so they curled around your mom’s finger, and she sighed. So when we finally remember what it feels like to be alive, we have to put our life to good use. We must live a life:
“worthy of our / magnificently mysterious creation.”
When you can grab a hold of your life, in your clenched fingers, remember your beginnings, because they are what will teach you to be worthy. The creation of humankind is a miracle. The work of a loving god, we were created out the ashes and the dust, with compassion ingrained in our DNA from our maker’s hands. Remember that you were magnificently and mysteriously created, “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 13:14) and through that we need to praise and do good work.
To conclude, because of our miraculous creation by a loving God, not pursuing excellence and not doing our best is denying our God due praise and denying ourselves a life of living out our astounding existence.