MapQuest for Our Lives pt 3: Excellence

Ship copy 2
I closed out my previous MapQuest blog with a life quote by Mother Theresa: "We can
do no great things. Only small things with great love."

The truth is that we can do no great things in a single day.  Every success and victory in our lives is a result of years of training, preparation and growth.  I used to have a card that said: "Victory is when ten thousand hours of training meet one moment of opportunity."  This sums up the truth that discovering and fulfilling God's plan for our lives to the fullest consists of DAY IN & DAY OUT fulfilling God's plan for our lives in lots of little ways.  This we shall call excellence.  Excellence in our lives consists of growing regularly in several areas ...

1. Excellence Intellectually
To fulfill God's ultimate purposes for our lives it is vital that we regularly grow in excellence intellectually.  I often think "people are one good book away from success in any given area of their lives."  In the same way a guy learns the inner workings of an automobile they love, they can put the same patient effort to grow in intellect in order to be a great husband.  In the Scriptures, excellence intellectually includes forgiving those who have hurt us, repenting of besetting sins, being a part of a local Church (the early Church met daily, we should at least be going weekly), memorizing the Word of God and more.

2. Excellence Socially
To fulfill God's ultimate purposes for our lives it is vital that we regularly grow in excellence socially.  People are the spice of life.  People are more important than things, dreams, goals, etc.  If we can't learn to cherish the people around us every day we've missed the reason for living.  We will all have conflicts with others, but learning to resolve those and learn from mistakes is huge.  Cherish your friends and family and others you come into contact with on a daily basis.  Serve them, help them, love them, tell them you love them, encourage and build them up (rather than tear them down), and find little, practical ways to make their lives better for knowing you.  Scripture challenges us to the importance of loving our neighbors, forgiving others their sins against you, working towards unity and peace with others, being patient and peaceful and kind and gentle (all fruits of the Spirit, or signs we are truly being like Christ).

3. Excellence Spiritually
To fulfill God's ultimate purposes for our lives it is vital that we regularly grow in excellence spiritually.  Jesus shows us how to draw near to God.  Find places of solitude and talk with God.  God has given us his Word to know him more.  Different things will stand out at different seasons of life.  Be in the Word regularly.  It is alive and moving.  The reality is - ONE OF THE GREATEST STEPS TO SEEING AND FULFILLING GOD'S PLANS FOR OUR LIVES IS TO FIRST OBEY GOD'S WORD IN THE SMALL AREAS OF OUR LIVES WE KNOW WE SHOULD DO RIGHT NOW.

4. Excellence Financially
To fulfill God's ultimate purposes for our lives it is vital that we regularly grow in excellence financially.  There are more verses in the Bible about money than prayer.  Scripture challenges us to be excellent in giving.  Look for ways to give to the poor, help friend's or family in need.  Put your money where you want your heart to go.  Give at least 10% of your income to God's Kingdom.  The early Church Fathers; those mentored by the Apostles themselves challenged their congregations that 10% is the bare minimum of what should be given to God's Kingdom.

5. Excellence Physically
To fulfill God's ultimate purposes for our lives it is vital that we regularly grow in excellence physically.  Our health is also important to living long fruitful lives for God.  The importance of rest is often overlooked, but so Scriptural.  Take at least a day off a week to rest.  Physical training is also of some value.

6. Excellence Emotionally
To fulfill God's ultimate purposes for our lives it is vital that we regularly grow in excellence emotionally.  Growing physically, socially, inwardly/spiritually and so on all contribute to our emotional health.

Our lives as a whole can never be greater or more successful than the part, or the little things.  Andy Stanley teaches us in Visioneering, "Vision is the difference between filling bags with dirt, and building a dike in order to save a city."  The ability to see in our daily, weekly, monthly and annual habits and choices as forming our future is so important.  To put it into a mind picture, it is like seeing each turn on a road trip as an important piece to getting to the correct end destination according to the map.

Pt 4: Navigating Storms next ...