Excellence is never an accident – that is a sign displayed by my wife Lynn at Mathison Interiors. It is the motto for the business and serves as a constant reminder of how our work should be done.
Shoddy work has no place in God’s Kingdom. Part of our worship of God is the excellence displayed in the way that we utilize the time and talents and gifts that He has given us. Our work and worship go hand-in-hand.
I Kings 6 and 7 describe how Solomon built the Temple and his palace. The Bible goes into elaborate detail about the building process and the time spent building
Solomon called in a man by the name of Hiram from Tyre. He was a man of special skill and wisdom. He began to build the huge pillars of bronze. Those pillars were 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference. He then made two capitals for the top of the columns. Each capital was 7 ½ feet high. In the capitals he placed an intrigue network of fruit. Then on top of the capitals he designed very beautiful lily work.
Why did he spend so much time and intricate detail placing the lily work on top of the columns? The columns were 27 feet tall and the capitals an additional 7 ½ feet. Who would ever see the lily work?
It is obvious that the temple was built with excellence as an offering to God. The 34 foot height might be a problem for man to see, but it was built to be viewed by God. Months and months of detail work was worth it because God would see it. That is excellence – and it’s never an accident!
Sometimes we tend to do our work with excellence if we think it will be seen by our boss or friends. Sometimes we tend to cut corners if it is going to be in some area that nobody will ever see. Excellence is our standard because God sees it and it is an offering to Him.
Edwin Booth will always be known as the brother of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln’s assassin. Edwin Booth was a highly acclaimed Shakespearean actor.
One night he was to perform in London. It was terribly stormy and only a few people showed up for the performance. Many of the other actors wanted to cancel the performance. Booth emphatically said “No.” The rest of the actors didn’t think they could get up for the performance so Booth suggested that they pretend that the king was in the audience and they would be performing before him. Booth’s famous words were “The king is in the audience. Play to the king.”
The next day Edwin Booth received a note bearing the royal seal. It came from the king. He had been in the audience. He had chosen that stormy night thinking that not many folks would be present. He sat in the back unrecognized. They had played to the king.
What if we approached every task at work and at home with the attitude of “this will be done for the glory of God. It is an offering to Him. We will be playing for the real King.” What difference would that make in the quality of our work?
We expect excellence from surgeons, pharmacists, traffic controllers, pilots, etc. God expects excellence from each of us.
Excellence is never an accident!