Competence means to do things well. Sunday my wife went through the Starbucks drive thru. She ordered a drink, but it was the wrong drink. So she drove back around. They apologized and made another one. She assumed after messing up the first drink they would make it right the second time. So, as most of us would do, she didn't bother to check and drove off. As she drove down the street, however, she took a sip and realized it was the wrong drink again. In all fairness, most of the time they get it right. But we have all had similar frustrating experiences in drive thru's, right? Sometimes it's easier to understand competence when we experience incompetence.
As we strive for excellence in life, we must understand it is a striving. We won't get it right every time. We will mess up. Even when we give the extra effort, do more than is expected, there are no guarantees we will do something well. The real key to competence is not expecting perfection, but paying the cost. And it is a cost common people can pay. It is a matter of getting up when we get pushed down and continuing to give it our best. When we see excellence, we must realize it took a team of people working very hard and making many mistakes. And they usually work hard because they are thinking of someone other than themselves. There is a greater calling, a greater pull on their life that motivates them.
So, "Why do you do what you do?" Deep down, the answer is because you desire to give yourself to something greater, larger than you. It is how you were created. It is the fingerprint of God on your soul. And therein lies the motivation to keep going. Because in your striving for excellence what you do is making a difference. What you do matters to God and other people. So competence, doing things well, is really a gift. It is a great reason to get up every day and live a life that matters.
As our verse reminds us, Daniel, after he was worn out and exhausted, got up and went about the king's business. May we do the same and in doing so get the right drink.
Scripture: Daniel 8:27 (NIV)
"I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business."
“Father, you are our Creator. You made us. And you made us to do things well. You made us to be competent. When we do more than is expected, people remember. So help us to do everything as if we were doing it for you. When people are unkind, unthankful, and unappreciative it is hard to give that extra effort. But in those times God, the extra effort just shines more brightly toward you. So help us to get up every day and go about the King's business. Even when we are worn out, give us the strength to keep getting up. Help us to encourage one another in our striving for excellence and may we experience the unity that comes from being like-minded in the Kingdom Culture. Jesus, people where overwhelmed with amazement, they said you did everything well, including the supernatural. We believe if we follow your lead, the supernatural will happen in our midst as well. Because we know there is a greater calling and pulling on our lives. We know we were made to make a difference. So, God make us competent in the ways that matter most to you and the people you love. In Jesus' Name, Amen"