I was skimming my friend Randy’s blog, Ethos, this morning, and saw a definition he gleaned from a mutual friend, Derric Johnson. It’s this: What is E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-C-E? It’s the place where precision meets passion in an explosion that rips through a world of complacency and mediocrity.
I’ve always been a promoter of excellence, primarily because of Derric Johnson. Back when I used to sing with The Re’Generation (that’s our 1977 group–I’m the middle girl, bottom row and Derric is the man in the tux), “Pastor Derric” always stressed that everything we do should be presented as an offering to the Lord. And you know what David said in II Samuel: “I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing.”
And so whether it’s homemaking, writing, singing, or yes, even housekeeping, I try to do it with excellence. Sometimes I know I’m fighting a losing battle with the mastiffs, but every morning I sweep up the hair (usually enough for a chihuahua) and glory in a few minutes of a clean house. When I work on a book, I do many drafts and then listen to my editors because we all want one thing: a book that will be an excellent offering to the Lord.
I’m certainly not perfect–and sometimes I think I’m offering my best and I find that if I’d only taken a little more time or done a little more research, I could have made a project better. So it’s lately been my prayer that I’ll slow down a bit and think harder instead of writing faster. It helps to pray harder, too, and I’m so grateful to my prayer team for undergirding my efforts with prayer.
I love Derric’s definition: excellence is the place where precision meets passion. Boy, that’s succinct. Your passion for a thing–your craft, your loved ones, your audience–meets precision. No halfway measures, no token gestures, no in-a-hurry efforts.
Thanks, Randy, and thanks, Derric, for giving me a new life motto. I love it!