Good, Better, Best Put to the Test

I was looking out the balcony of our hotel room while on vacation several years ago. Draped on top of the ornate metal railing was a beautiful rectangular planter of reddish orange flowers. I was easily distracted by them, especially since I have a black thumb and can’t seem to make flowers live anytime I’ve ever attempted to plant them. In front of the balcony was a huge arching waterfall. It made looking directly out of the room a grandeous experience.

As I sat out on the patio to enjoy the beauty, it struck me that the flowers were right at eye level. They were the only thing I could see. I thought to myself, What’s the point of having only a view of the flowers? Even though they were beautiful, I could barely see the waterfall, and I couldn’t enjoy the glorious Colorado mountains in the background at all. The flowers were gorgeous, the waterfall was refreshing, but my view was obstructed from the grandest scenery of all!

This caused me to remember the common phrase: “Good can be the enemy of best.” I think that is the case in my life sometimes. How often do I miss the big picture of the faith by focusing in on the good but lesser things? Are my priorities in line with what Jesus would want for me as His follower? Luke 10:38-42 comes to mind:

“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’

“’Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

Martha was doing what was good, but Mary chose the better….can we say the same? Are we too busy doing “good” stuff to sit at His feet each day?

Volunteering at church is good. Doing Bible Studies is good. Doing your best at work is good. Keeping yourself in shape is good. Enriching friendships is good. Blogging about Jesus is good. Cleaning the house, reading Christian books, keeping up with politics and current events, cheering on our kids’ events, serving through evangelism and missions…It’s all good, unless it becomes the rival of choosing that which is better…

Let’s do the good stuff for God after making the time to do the “one thing that is needed”: sitting at the feet of Jesus. Good doesn’t have to be the enemy of best in this case if we make our worship of the Lord our greatest priority.

What represents your flowers on the ledge? Go ahead and water them, but step on your tip-toes if needed to make sure your view of the better things is not obstructed. When you are looking from His high view, it may change the way you are looking at what’s right in front of you…

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8, NASB

“And behold, now I bring you the first of the fruit of the ground, which You, O LORD, have given me. ‘And you shall set it down before the LORD your God and worship before the LORD your God.'” Deuteronomy 26:10, ESV

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15, NASB

***this is an old post, “Flowers on the Ledge,” revisited and reedited…but the message remains the same, though I’m in constant need of reminding.

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One Response to Good, Better, Best Put to the Test

  1. Joe Pote says:

    What a beautiful reminder! And, yes, all too often we let good things get in the way of the best things.

    In fact, I find more and more, that when God’s plans seem to conflict with my plans, it is usually a sign that I have begun to settle for “good” rather than pursuing the “best.”

    Thanks for the post!
    Joe Pote recently posted..The Miracle of Life!

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