I love the words of Isaac D’Israel. “It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.”
True, competitive excellence requires 100 percent effort all the time. People figure they are getting by when they merely get close to it. And then, excellence gets reduced to acceptable, and before long, acceptable doesn’t seem worth the sweat if you can get by with adequate. After that, mediocrity is just a breath away. Let’s consider the real consequences of mediocrity, of only getting it right most of the time.
Natalie Gabal has done the research. If 99.9 percent was considered acceptable, in one year the IRS would lose two million documents and 12 babies would be given to the wrong parents in hospitals each day. Two hundred ninety-one pacemaker operations would be performed incorrectly, 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions would be written, and 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes would be shipped.
I used to have a man in my church would point out every tiny mistake in the worship guide or PowerPoint on Sundays. You know what I would tell him? “Thanks!”
God wants our best. Mediocrity is not an option. Can we achieve perfection in this life? Of course not! But we can achieve excellence.