I am a nerd, but I love reading the articles in back issues of R.C. Sproul’s Tabletalk magazine. (Click here to subscribe–I highly recommend it.) This week, I’ve been reading one from last September titled “Proud Mediocrity.” In R.C. Sproul’s article, he writes about striving for excellence. He says:
“It is God who calls us to labor to the highest level of excellence and achievement of which we are capable . . . The legitimate motive for excellence is to seek achievement for the end to glorify God. That is the chief purpose for which we are created, to bear witness to His glory. One thing that does not bear witness to the glory of God is a human addiction to mediocrity, a smug satisfaction with the status quo. Rather, the Scriptures call us to seek a high calling–the high calling that is ours in Christ Jesus. Such a high calling cannot be achieved when we wallow in sloth. Slothfulness and laziness are twin vices that are roundly and soundly condemned by sacred Scripture. The biggest reason we fail to achieve excellence is that we are unwilling to work to such an extent that excellence can be achieved. No one achieves excellence in any worthy enterprise without diligent and disciplined labor.”
At the same time that I was reading the article, Michael W. Smith’s song, “Lord, Have Mercy” came on my iPod. (Click here for the lyrics to this song.) It was as if God didn’t want me to miss the fact that He was calling me to repentance for my laziness and slothfulness. I used to be highly motivated to achieve excellence in school and at work–but seldom do I desire excellence in housework, parenting and loving my husband.
How can I do laundry for the glory of God? I’m not sure about the laundry, but I am called to serve my children and husband by striving for excellence in the management of my household. I am to labor diligently in the parenting of my children–playing with them, teaching them, encouraging them and disciplining them. I am called to have a vibrant, growing relationship with my Savior from which to minister to my family and friends. I am not to be satisfied with merely making it through the day with my sanity somewhat intact.
I often settle for mediocrity. I struggle with laziness. Some days, it is excruciatingly difficult to drag myself out of bed to start another day of housework, refereeing fights over toys, and thoughtful, consistent discipline. I crave sleep, comfort, and time for myself, and I hit the snooze button until the last possible minute when I’m forced to start my day. But if I look at the example of the Proverbs 31 woman, she rises while it is still night and her lamp does not go out at night. And Proverbs 20:13 says: “Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty.” I may be going to far, but I think that in my case, my love of sleep that causes my snooze-button addiction is sin. If I’m going to strive for excellence in what God has called me to do tomorrow, I’m going to need that extra seven minutes.