It was our first cab ride of the weekend.
Ten years and we were celebrating by walking around the city and going wherever our hearts led.
Our driver pulled over to our destination, but he had words to speak and he needed someone to listen, and so we sat for another 20 minutes. We smiled and nodded and then he said something so true and obvious, but something I didn’t think about.
“You see a musician, and you pay to see him play. Why? You pay because he has become excellent at his instrument. He practices and practices and he becomes excellent. And so you pay, and you enjoy it. This is like marriage. If you want to have an excellent marriage, you must practice and work for it. It won’t just happen.”
And, um, yes.
Why don’t we become excellent?
Excellent in our marriages.
Excellent in raising our children.
Sub-par seems the way to go these days; just hang in there, get through.
And I get that, because life has a way of wearing you out, and living with other sinners isn’t easy. Excellent? How about just getting through the day without offending someone? Or being offended.
But this excellence talk has me pierced and I can’t forget it.
I’m wondering about it…
And I’m decidedly sold on committing to excellence.
Excellence in my marriage. Excellence in parenting.
I only have so much energy and space in my brain to become excellent in a few things, and so I think I’ll choose what’s right before me, in my home, in my care. Yes, I will practice and work on loving my man and raising my babes. I will give myself to the work, and I will pursue excellence. I won’t even consider perfection, but excellence, yes. Becoming an expert in marriage and child-rearing, why not? Why not me?
I’m on it.
How about you? Does it intimidate you to think about becoming excellent in marriage and/or parenting? Me too. But that’s because I have considered excellence to be perfection, but they are not the same.
Perfection is completion, no more work to be done. It’s finished. Not so with us. We are only complete in Christ, but in action, in life, not so much. But excellence, that’s different. Excellence is working hard at becoming the best you can at something, failures and all. It’s intention, and giving, and caring, and going for great.
Practically, it’s doing the hard work of putting in time and energy. There’s no way around it. If you want to become excellent at your marriage or parenting, you have to give yourself to it. It will be hard, and you will have to sacrifice, but it will be good. You will be able to look back one day and say, “I did it. I worked hard, and I did my best.”
Are you giving your best to your marriage and your children? What’s standing in the way?
Is what’s in the way of pursuing excellence with your family worth it?
I guess we all have to figure that out.
But as for me, I’m in. All in. Here’s to excellence.
Love, Sarah Mae