Saturday, March 16, 2013

Do Your Best

I met my friend Aaron for lunch a few days ago. It was really more of a dim sum feast… one of Aaron’s superpowers is ordering dim sum

We have a habit of getting together for lunch a couple of times each month. We generally solve all the world’s problems in the sixty minutes or so that we spend together. 

It seems that we have so much in common. Aaron was born and raised in Singapore, in a pastor’s home. After serving in the Republic of Singapore Navy, he has had a hi-tech career that has had him based in several countries around the Pacific Rim over the years. He speaks several languages. 

I guess we don’t have all that much in common… except we were born in the same year, we each have a couple of great kids, and we love the Lord. It appears that we have plenty in common for a great friendship. 

These days Aaron serves as a program manager at Microsoft. His expertise is generally tapped to help executives maximize the impact of their workforce. Among his projects is one that plays a vital role in successfully ramping up employees on new policies, commitments and tools for the company, worldwide. 

Aaron has been reading Keller’s Every Good Endeavor with me. I asked him how he was applying the concepts to his work, and how he was thinking theologically about his work and responsibilities. He said, “For me it starts with the basics; it starts with doing your best.” Aaron works hard, and he works smart. What he said resonated with one of my favorite verses of Scripture:

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus… (Colossians 3:17)
When we start from the basis that our lives are God’s, and that our work is connected to God’s work, a simple statement like “do your best” is packed with meaning… profound, eternal meaning. It means working hard, and working smart; it means doing the right thing, and doing things right. 
For Aaron, a big part of it is keeping commitments. It is never enough to just talk about delivering or even planning to deliver; it is about actually delivering. It is about having a record and reputation of meeting expectations… not merely the high expectations demanded by the job, but the high expectations demanded of one’s self when endeavoring to do the work and be the kind of person that brings credit to the God who calls and enables us.

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