Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “You are responsible for doing your best.”
Vice-Admiral William McRaven was a four-star Navy Admiral and the highest ranking Navy SEAL in the service. Not only did he spend more than thirty-five years as a member of the most elite military unit in the world, but he was the commander of that elite force.
In 2014 he gave the commencement address at the University of Texas graduation ceremony and the title of his talk was “Make Your Bed”. He told the story of how in SEAL training, known as “BUDS” (Basic Underwater Demolition School), the first task each day was to make your bed. And not only did you have to make your bed, but you needed to make it in an extremely precise manner. The sheet had to be pulled so tight that a quarter would bounce off of it. The pillow had to be positioned at the head of the bed in the exact spot it was supposed to be in, and likewise with the blanket at the foot of the bed (folded into a neat square with precise folds). A SEAL instructor would then enter your room and examine how well you made your bed. He would even pull out a little ruler and measure the positioning of your pillow and blanket to ensure they were in the exact correct location.
This was the toughest military training in the world. They were learning advanced military tactics and deep sea diving; they were becoming experts in explosives and all sorts of military weapons; they were learning how to evade the enemy, blow up ships, interrogate prisoners, and jump from airplanes. But they started each day with an inspection to see how well they made their bed? That seems silly.
However the entire routine was designed to teach and reinforce the importance of attention to detail and a commitment to excellence. If you pay attention to the small details you will also pay attention to the big details. If you are committed to doing the little unimportant things well, you will also do the big important ones well. Attention to detail and a commitment to excellence is an attitude that begins with the small things and then carries over into all of life. And, it is one of the foundational principles of success. Sloppy, careless people are seldom successful. And as a Navy SEAL such a person also wouldn’t live very long.
In Colossians 3:23 the Apostle Paul urges us to apply that attention to detail and commitment to excellence to all things in life, and to do it as a means of honoring Christ. As a follower of Christ you and I should be committed to doing our very best in everything we do – simply because it’s the right thing to do.
We will discuss this more tomorrow. For now just remember that the Lord expects you to do your best in all situations. “Whateveryou do, work at it with all your heart…”