An Example of Excellence

Many of you know I wrestled back in high school. For the St. Charles Fighting Saints. At 152-pounds, I managed a winning record, but nothing spectacular.

Here in 2023, that same team just sent 11 wrestlers to the Illinois state tournament and gained nine place winners including three state champions. It’s an unprecedented feat.

That kind of achievement only happens when every coach and every athlete is dedicated to excellence. My son, Max, who went downstate himself some years ago, is on the coaching staff. His son, Jackson, is also in this photo as a future Fighting Saint.

Are you envious? Are you inspired? Are you searching your heart and mind to imagine what area of your own life deserves that kind of dedication to excellence?

You should be. Excellence is worth the effort.

The Bible has much to say about excellence and can even help steer you toward the kind of activities you might pursue.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

So job #1 is to think about and pursue excellence in an arena that is honorable, commendable and worthy of praise. That could certainly be an athletic endeavor. Or music. Or medicine. Or parenting. Or any hobby, responsibility, struggle, career, or aspiration. You’ll know you’re on the right track when your goal is not to gain the approval of other humans, but the applause of heaven. 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23)

I hope this makes sense. One word of caution. It’s not humanly possible to pursue and achieve excellence in everything you do. Throughout life, we need to assess our gifts and attempt great things, only to discover some endeavors are not a good fit and can’t possibly lead to excellence. That’s okay. God will use our failures to steer us toward our next venture.

This post, of course, gave me the chance to brag on my son and our high school alma mater. But I hope you see it as more than that. Consider this your personal challenge to pursue excellence anew, starting today. Maybe in your current work. Or maybe in an entirely new arena.  

If you do commit or re-commit to excellence in some endeavor, let me know!  

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