What is Excellence?

Being the best in the block at sports, reading, or any other activity does not make you an excellent person. This could be similar to saying that you were able to beat your little one-year-old brother at arm wrestling when you are a full-grown man. So the question remains what is excellence?

I read the story of this tennis player named Martina Navratilova who had just won an extremely contested match in Florida. After such a competitive and exhausting game one would have thought that she merited a well-deserved break. Nonetheless, such was not the case, as she flew a few hundred miles away in order to be in the beautiful state of Texas the following day. Well not only did Martina made it to Texas but she was up at five thirty in the morning practicing in the hotel she was staying at. She was at the top of her game and kept on pressing on – now that is excellence!

Now let me take you to my local gym where for the past three months I have attended at least three times out of the week. I am a decently observant person – although my wife would disagree; but surviving at the gym as a newbie meant I had to use those skills to get around the premises without looking totally clueless. In this journey I quickly distinguished the dedicated athletes from the rookies. Now this is not always the case yet it holds true that those who are more focused at their workout routine rather than to socializing are the regular gym goers with a mission. They are all at different levels yet some strive for perfection regardless of their abilities while others seemed to have hit a plateau. Excellence is very similar. It is not where you have been or how long you’ve done it but how hard you are working towards something. 

2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” The word used for “approved” in this passage has a double fold meaning. First, it states that person is to be tested and examined through some sort of trial to see how well he can withstand. Second, this trial will prove whether this person is truly excellent at what he does.   

So what separates the Martina's of this world and your dedicated gym athlete from the rest? Simply put, they try their best at what they do – that is excellence. It does not matter where you might find yourself in your journey or level of expertise, as long as you strive for excellence chances are that you will succeed.