The outstanding highlight of my week was… (drum roll)… getting a new dishwasher! One that works! It actually cleans dishes and everything. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to see the results after the first wash. I realize how sad this is sounding, but I’ll plough on…

For months, come to think of it – years, we have been content to “make do” with our sub-standard hunk-a-junk. You’d never know it; the dishwasher was pretty and shiny and stainless steel, the perfect size and not a scratch on it. But without fail, every morning I would unload, sigh heavily, and re-wash most of the contents. How does dried spaghetti sauce end up hardened in the bottom of mugs? Every other day, my husband would also sigh heavily, and then replace the whirly thing that spins around at the top. Plumber’s tape became his best friend. As ridiculous as it sounds, we had become content living with very, very few expectations. We were happy to plod along with the status quo. I found myself giddy when I pulled out a mug that was totally clean!

As I was reflecting this week on my pathetic, yet justified celebratory feelings with regard to my new dishwasher, I started thinking on a broader scale. What are the other areas of my life where I am happy to “make do”? How often do I gloss over an issue hoping that nobody will notice my underlying incompetence? Am I more concerned about how things are looking on the outside (pretty and shiny and stainless steel), and less about my inner workings? Surely I want to be effective in everything I am involved in- family, ministry, work, community- the whole shebang.

So how, oh how can I avoid becoming a status quo couch potato? Where will I find the vigor and intensity to be my very best, striving for excellence in ALL that I do?

We can certainly start with Colossians 3 verse 23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…

It’s amazing what a difference it makes when you acknowledge everything you do is for an audience of One… and He is God Almighty! He knows our frustrations; He sees our every deed. Whether you’re washing dishes by hand because your dishwasher is up the spout, preparing a multi-million dollar presentation for work, performing on stage, or changing a diaper, it’s all worthy of your very best efforts. Not only is it a marvelous testimony to others, it actually makes the experience more satisfying and enjoyable for you! Win- win.

Don’t settle for bobbing along on the ocean of status quo. Life is far too short to do things half-heartedly. Take a fresh look at your life, do some honest evaluating, and recognize the areas that are inefficient, wasting your valuable time, and then “work at it with ALL your heart”. Precious rewards await you.

Now I’m going to go and joyfully unload my wonderfully efficient new dishwasher! 🙂