“Your best isn’t good enough”
I write this at a time when Australia has won a string of silver medals at the Olympics. The media reaction to the lack of gold reminds me of something that was said to me at times as a child: ‘Your best is not good enough.’ That hurt, and ended up stifling any ambition to do better, because if my best wasn’t good enough, what did it say about me? There are many ways to challenge and, for me, that wasn’t one that worked. No doubt about it, we do need challenge. I often think of challenges as the springboard from which we get the space for the most amazing gymnastics. So how are we to challenge?
The way God does. He knows what we have done, all our striving, all our failures, all our extenuating circumstances, our liabilities and the difficulties we labour under. No-one desires the best for us more than God does. But God also desires the best from us because God wants us to flourish, to live rich human lives. This best isn’t beating others. It is coming to our best selves – people who love, serve, create, enjoy in the midst of a whole range of circumstances. Imagine a difficulty you have or are facing. Now take a few moments to imagine how your best self could act. Now take a moment to ask God to grace your performance. Yes, the challenge God has given you can bring out the best in you and, be sure of this, God will cheer you all the way.
Loving God, whatever we do your love for us does not waver. Still, through all that happens you call us to the fullness of life. May we reach for the stars knowing that we are grounded in your love. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb