ORDINARYmoments: The pursuit of Excellence

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Sometime ago, I read an article in the newspaper that used various expert theories to analyze the difference between the elite and the average person. It turns out that these two types of people can be differentiated through some traits and daily habits. Of course this is not absolute and cannot be seen as factual, but there are some points worth reflecting on.

The article mentioned that the elite often have these traits:

1) Waking up early. They use the best time and energy of the morning to do their work, so they are usually very efficient.

2) Important things are said a few times, not just once.

3) Using days off wisely to learn other things and expand their horizons, in order to keep their minds sharp.

4) Adequate preparation and organization for everything.

5) Doing things faster and better.

6) Paying attention to their clothes and appearance, based on the occasion, not on feelings.

7) Having a habit of reading and browsing in book stores.

If we compare this list with our Lord Jesus Christ, He would definitely be of the elite type. Jesus fulfilled the first point, because He had the habit of waking early. As the Bible says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”(Mark 1:35)

Jesus often woke at dawn to spend time in prayer, even retreating to deserted areas to pray. The more His name spread far and wide, the more He went to pray in a quiet place spending more and more time in prayer.

What about us? How do we start a new day? When we are busy with many things, do we turn our priorities upside down and even say we have no more time for prayer?

Let’s look at the second point – repeating important matters. This was also Jesus’ habit. When He preached that the kingdom of heaven is near, He repeated it many times.

In the gospels, there are 30 instances of Jesus’ teachings on the kingdom of heaven. As for the other points, they may not be very relevant to Jesus. Jesus did not need to expand His horizons; after all He is the God of the universe, omniscient and omnipotent. There was no book store to browse around then.

As for the sixth point, I am not sure if Jesus needed to take special care of His appearance, after all He is the King of kings with all honour and majesty upon Him. However, His appearance and outfit was appropriate for what the culture required of a Jewish adult man at the time. At least the Bible did not record that He wore a camel hair garment as John the Baptist did.

If children of this world can do so well, then as children of God, we should all the more pursue excellence, learning from the example of Jesus and doing more beautiful and better things for God.

By Winnie Chan, Lay Preacher of Wesley MC, Sibu

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