10 February, 2009

Good Enough is NOT Good Enough

My wife and family will tell you that I am a stickler about being on time for everything. One of my biggest pet peeves is people being late. I was raised in an area where we were disciplined about this. "On time" meant 15 minutes early. When I worked in a steel mill, we all reported 15 minutes before we were to be on the clock, and almost everyone was on the job a few minutes before we were supposed to take over for the person doing the job before us. That is how we lived. Where I live now, people are not wired that way. "On time" around here seems to means somewhere around that time, generally 10 to 15 minutes late. When it comes to church, easily half the crowd shows up in just in time to rush in or 10-15 minutes late, and some come 25-45 minutes late and think nothing wrong with it. It's just the way things are around this area... and it is SO hard for me to stomach, because it goes against a lifetime of training and discipline for me.

Now, I bring this up, not to fuss about how people are, but to illustrate something greater. I taking the risk of offending people from my church and the town I live in, but I think if they will think this through, they will agree with me. In Galesburg and the surrounding area, there seems to be a mentality of "good enough." The time factor is a small example. This morning I got up and got ready to get my daughter to the high school early because she is a member of the Student Council. She is supposed to be there at 7:00. Earlier in the year she was always ready and out the door no later that 6:55, usually earlier. As the year has gone by, she has begun to slip and is later and later. This morning at 6:58 I was telling her, "you are already late, let's go." Her response was, "We never start until 5 after, so I'm good." Wrong response. I asked her, "What time are you supposed to be there?" She told me 7:00, but that everyone else is alway late so they always start late. I told her that I was not father of any of the rest of them, but that she was my daughter and my daughter was not going to settle for a "good enough" mindset, she was going to be a responsible leader and do the right thing, even if no one else did. Of course, she was mad, but I told her that as long as I had a say so in her life, she was going to live in such a way that she gave her best at everything, not "good enough."

OK... let me stair step this further...
Yesterday I was talking with someone who used to be what I would term a solid Christian, but who I've watched slide further and further into a backslid condition. I confronted this person with what I saw in their life and they replied back to me that they knew they were not "as on fire as I used to be, but I'm not as bad as I used to be either." I was a bit taken back at first, but then I said, "do you think that if you had to stand before the Lord today that you'd be ok with giving God that answer for your life?" They said to me that they would have to hope for mercy because they really did not know for sure but they thought that they were almost where they needed to be with God. My response that I left this person with was, "A man who almost lands an airplane has a crash. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be an almost."

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