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A Call to Excellence

brown wooden pews in a church

Don’t you just love family reunions? It’s so nice to get together and spend time with family that you don’t get to see very often. So, when one of your cousins tells you they read your blog and suggests you write about something on her heart, you do it. This one’s for Dori. It’s a call to excellence.

I believe we are raising a generation that no longer strives for excellence. Everything is mediocre at best. Our lives are full of distractions. We try to do too many things and are not really excellent at any one thing. We are pulled in so many directions and get so busy, we forget what’s really important, when in fact, only one thing is necessary: and that is to love God.

It’s the classic Martha & Mary story.

Martha and Mary

Martha was worried that Mary wasn’t helping her with the work. Mary wanted to sit at the feet of Jesus and just listen to Him. She’s no back row kinda girl. She is up close and personal. Martha was upset because Mary wasn’t helping her with her distractions. Martha was in the back worrying about all the work that needed doing.

In the book of Luke 10: 41 “The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 42* There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

Dori asked me to write about how people don’t like to sit in the front pews at church. The back pews are always full. What is it about sitting up front that people shy away from? This is Jesus, after all, whom we’ve come to be with. I guess we are all a bunch of Marthas, aren’t we? We worry about so many things, except the right thing: being called to excellence. Jesus is excellence.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Up Close and Personal

What does sitting in the front pews at church have to do with excellence? Quite a bit. Front pews are like sitting at the feet of Jesus. It’s a call to excellence by choosing the better part.

When you sit in the front pews of the church, distractions diminish. It’s just you and Jesus, up close and personal. You will focus only on what’s going on right in front of you: the Mass.

When my kids were little, we sat in the front. They could see what was going on and were mesmerized by the priest and servers. We didn’t need to take toys to church.

Last week, I arrived at church a little later than usual. It’s county fair week and it is packed! The usher is holding up one finger. He has one seat for me. –It’s in the front pew. (God knew I was going to write this blog, lol. His timing is excellent.) I normally sit somewhere in the middle but this was definitely a reminder that I need to let go of my own distractions.

Action Steps

So my challenge for you this week is to try sitting in the front pews at church and get there a little early to pray the rosary.

We are called to excellence. Let’s be excellent examples to our children and grandchildren. Are we passing on our faith to them? Take them to church with you and sit in the front pews! Help them to be Marys in a Martha world. Talk to them about what they experienced sitting up front.

Apply this to your every day life. Expect excellence from friends, coworkers and family. Be Marys. Ask questions of people by focusing your attention on them and really listening. They may have some things going on in their lives that you can pray about with them.

As always, put it in your planner. Schedule it in your day. Prioritize the things that need doing, but make sure they really need doing and do them with excellence.

Let’s put God first. Sit up front and listen to His Word. Strive for excellence in all things Jesus, then excellence in everything else will fall into place.

Every day we are called to excellence. We are called to grow in Christ. Let’s fill up the front pews. God bless.–Barb


Wife, mother, church secretary, seamstress, child of God.

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