Performing At A Level Of Excellence

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Proverbs 16:3 Ne (NIV)
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Last Sunday my husband and I went to church and enjoyed a great worship service.   Afterward, we went out to one of our favorite restaurants and enjoyed a great meal.  Walking back to our car,  I remember thinking Wow!, what a beautiful day we were having!  Life is good!

When we got home, my day immediately took a turn.  While scrolling through Facebook I read that Legendary Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were tragically killed when a helicopter he was traveling in crashed.  I had feelings of disbelief and shock as did the rest of the world.  I shed tears for Kobe’s wife and daughters and for the family members of the others that accompanied him on his flight. 

The day that was so beautiful as I walked out of the restaurant, was still the same beautiful day, but boy had the circumstances shifted drastically.   Sadness had clouded its beauty.   I spent the rest of the day, needless to say, watching sports channels and the news as many did, I am sure.
It seemed that everyone that was interviewed, mentioned Kobe’s work ethic and his passion for the game of basketball.   He played at a level of excellence that could not be matched.  Kobe was a 5- time NBA Champion.   Although he had retired from the game of basketball, he was still a huge name in the sport, because of the intensity, and the level of excellence in which he played the game.  He will also be remembered for his longevity on the court. Not many athletes get to play professionally for twenty years.  Among the many things that he will be remembered for, one will certainly be for shooting sixty points on his last night as a Lakers player, as well as shooting eighty-one points in another game prior to that one..

He wanted to be the best, not second best, but the best ballplayer to play the game.  And it is certainly a fact, that he was one of the best, if not the best to ever play the game of basketball.  He was a beast when it came to this sport.

Kobe Bryant was certainly not perfect, as none of us are, there is only One that is perfect.  However, Kobe was a man who strives for excellence and that’s what made him stand apart from some of the other athletes that he played with and against.   What he had achieved by perfecting his craft was a level of excellence that made the whole world stop and take notice of him in life and in death. 

Not only was he super at basketball, but several times I heard that he could speak three to four languages fluently.  He was a pianist as well. He was a great family man who loved his wife and children. He was a philanthropist, he loved giving back.  He had authored a children’s book as well as won an Oscar for a short film that he made.   

Let’s be clear, Kobe Bryant is not to be idolized or worshiped.  He is not God!  He was a man who should be appreciated for using his God-given talents to the absolute best of his ability.  We should always give credit where credit is due, and he certainly deserves it for his hard work and dedication and commitment to his craft.

It is evident that all that Kobe set out to do, he did with excellence, and although the world will miss Kobe Bryant, he has left us with some powerful life lessons.  Here are just a few, that I would like to share with you that I feel that God gave to me through this tragic turn of events.

1.  Live each day to the absolute fullest.  You never know when you will be summoned home.
2.  Use the gifts and talents that God has given you at a level of excellence that makes others want to be better.   I feel like Kobe made us all want to be better.
3.  Share the gifts, talents, and blessings that God has allowed you to be privileged to have.
4.  Be willing to be a difference-maker.  Stay available.
5.  Don’t be afraid to go a different direction and tackle a new thing, when God says it’s time to move from one career to another. Stay open to His leading. He will use you,  wherever He leads you.   Be flexible.
6.  Be encourage.  Help others to see the good that they have to offer the world.
7.  Nothing on this side of heaven, other than your relationship with God, is more important than your family, and the time and memories that you share with them.
8.  Live your life in a way, that when you leave, you leave a huge hole that cannot be filled.  In other words, live in such a way that when you are gone you will be missed.  There is only one you, let the world know it by the standard of excellence that you display.  Choose not to live a life of mediocrity.
9.  Master your craft.  Day in and day out, work on getting better at what you were sent to this planet to do.
10.  Be ready when God says your task is complete here on earth because you don’t know when He will say it’s over, come home.
11.  Be sure that you have forgiven any and everyone that has offended you.  Don’t harbor unforgiveness.  Again you don’t know when God will say come home.
12.  Do a Soul Check.  Be on good terms with God, make sure your heart is right with God, and that He is your Lord and Savior.  Worship only God, not success, position or things, only God.
13.  Make sure that your family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are loved, and that whether you are on this earth, or in heaven they will always be loved by you.
14.  No giant is too big to fall.
15.  Life is but a vapor.  Live life well and purposefully.   Leave a legacy.

May God bless the Bryant family and all of the family members of the other passengers that traveled with Kobe that day.   Let’s continue to pray for them as they grieve this tragic loss along with the rest of the world.

Deuteronomy 8:18 (NLT)
18 Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
Proverbs 13:4 (NIV)
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, 
but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)
23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. 

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