I've been thinking about excellence...

Excellence Is Like An Impressionist Painting With Millions Of Dots

Pointillism is the practice of applying small dots of color to a surface so that from a distance they blend together. I viewed the work of a pointillist artist in an art gallery in Sedona a few years ago. I could not help but be enthralled with the amount of patience involved in working with this artistic style. Stepping back from the painting, I did see a beautifully blended picture.

Speaking of dots, Dara Torres says, "Sure, a dot is a dot. What's the big deal? But, if you care enough to make each dot the exact right size and the exact right color in the exact right place, something amazing occurs."

Dara ought to know since she is the first American swimmer to compete in five Olympics. Her philosophy is that swimming is about having the mental discipline to get every detail right, every single day.

In the book entitled Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers, Daniel Chambliss wrote, "If you swim sloppily 364 days a year, nothing great is going to happen on the day of the next big meet, no matter how excited you get... These little things matter not so much because of their physical impact but because psychologically they separate the champion from everyone else... Most swimmers choose every day not to do the little things. They choose, in effect, not to win... In some sense, everyone 'could" win in the Olympic Games, but 'could" doesn't count. The gold is reserved for those who do."

I like the way the metaphor of the dots helps me understand that when I give something my best effort each and every day, then I can be assured that the finished product will be my most excellent work. Colossians 3:23 even reminds me who I am to please. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men. Whew! No guessing, no wondering, no anxiety. Just peace and rest with no regrets!