Thursday, October 1, 2009

His Very Best

Cole, my 11-year old son, loves to draw cars, make extreme haulers out of his Legos, learn new tricks with his Tech Decks and, like most boys his age, play video games. With most of these things, he'll spend as much time as he can, improving his skills as he is allowed; drawing the coolest "drifter" or getting to the next level on his video game. He's pretty good at this stuff too and it's fun to watch what he comes up with; except the video games, that doesn't get me excited.

Science, Math, DOL, and piano lessons - oh, and cleaning his room - are things that I am confident that Cole could live without. Aside from the piano, the school work comes a little bit harder for him. I guess he's more creative than philosophical! Science is his worst subject; he says so himself. But he also puts the least amount of effort into that subject. Social Studies is his best subject - he got a B on his test last week without even opening the book to study. I asked him how he thought he would have done if he had studied for even 15 minutes, "I guess I could have gotten at least an A-" was his response.

I explained to Cole that not being good at Science was an extra good reason to study more and try harder; not being good at something doesn't give him an excuse to just not try. And with Social Studies coming easier to him doesn't mean that he still shouldn't give it his very best.

That conversation with him last week has continued to rattle around in my brain this week...convicting me.

Do I give my best in everything I do? Do I focus more time on the things that I like to do and that come easier and are more natural to me?

The answer is painfully obvious. I''m don't give my very best effort either.

Last night Cole and I had a little chat about his attitude; what his teachers expect from him and what me and his dad expect from him. I talked about that scene from Facing the Giants, you know the one, when the coach makes Brock do the death crawl on the football field blind-folded? He doesn't care about how far Brock gets he just wants Brock's very best effort. That's what we want from Cole - and that's what God wants too.

And then I asked him another question I've been thinking about.

What if Jesus had only done "...just enough to get by...?"

What if he had only paid for just enough and left some of the work for me?

Jesus: "Janelle, now I've made it possible for you to get into heaven, but there are a few things you need to do yet because I didn't put in as much effort as I could have."

Me: "Well, why didn't you try harder? What did you leave for me to do?"

Jesus: "It's not so bad, you can handle it. I've paid for most of your sins already; I just didn't feel like spending three days in hell; it's so hot in there. Satan has really bad breath and really, why should I do all your work for you, most days you don't act like you really like me anyway."

Me: "JESUS! I thought you said you had me covered? Please tell me! What did you leave undone?"

Jesus: "My child, It's all taken care of except for a few things; because I didn't give my all, if you faithfully do the following things, you will be with me in paradise:

take a mission trip every year * take a homeless person to dinner once a month * pick up a stray cat and/or dog and bring to a shelter once a week (extra jewels in your crown for both) * go to your local retirement home and play bridge with the residents once a month * hug the "crabby lady" in your church every Sunday * wash your neighbor's windows every Spring * oh yes, and make sure that you lead at least 50 people to salvation in me during your life.

If you do these things Janelle, on top of what I've done for you, I'll see you in Heaven."

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Jesus, thank you for being the perfect example of giving my very best effort in everything I do. Help me to remember the attitude you had when you took the walk from the upper room, to the Garden, to the Courtyard, through the angry mob, up the hill to the gave your every thing and for that I'll never be the same.