Be excellent in all you do. Be excellent, excellent, in everything you do. This itself is worship. Excellence, as worship. Excellence, as sacrifice. Humble excellence. Keep it vertical, between me and you, and it will not be a trap or a source of pride. Let your excellence exalt me, rather than yourself, and it will be a beautiful and pleasing aroma to your Lord. Be excellent in your work, in your exercise, in your eating, in your investing, in your relationships, in your writing, in your events, in how you love, in how you drive, in how you tie your shoes. In EVERYTHING, be excellent. This is how you will serve me – with excellence. This is what I ask of you. Humble and God-centered excellence. Will you love me in this way? Will you serve me in this way? The freedom I have given you from self, from the need to please and impress others, is not freedom from excellence. Rather, the fuel for your pursuit of excellence has become vertical rather than horizontal. This makes it a free, joy-filled pursuit…rather than a fraught, fear-filled pursuit…but it remains a crucial pursuit nonetheless. Pursue excellence. Live a disciplined life. Take care of the temporary body I have given you. And live life to the fullest. And do it all as an act of love and service and worship of me. Do this, and your heart will soar and your soul will be set free. You will have achieved this life’s most worthy pursuit – to die that you may fully and truly live. For those who long to find life must first lose it, lay it down. But this is no great sacrifice. You are laying down a life bent on merciless death, and exchanging it for a life bent on joy and peace-filled eternity. So lay down your life focused on this horizontal hamster wheel, and pick up a life of freedom born of vertical hope. Lay down the fear-filled life offered by the Father of Lies. Take up the glorious inheritance offered by your Father in Heaven, King of the Universe and Lord of Lords. This is the path of excellence, truly and holy and unending excellence.
All praise and glory and honor to our King! Amen.