We’ve all seen the reports in the sports section. An athlete competes in a race and achieves their “personal best.” It’s not a world record. It’s not usually even a regional record. Sometimes it’s not even a school or meet record–it’s just that particular person’s best effort to date. And because it is that person’s best effort–it is noted and celebrated.
I’ve been thinking a lot about personal best. My personal best is a lot different from your personal best. And your personal best is a lot different from mine. One person might use only a fraction of their capabilities and do things that literally transform the world. Another person can use absolutely everything they have and no one really takes note.
Well, almost no one.
There is One who always takes note. There is One who sees all and knows all. There is One who knows the end from the beginning. There is One who always sees from the inside out …
And he knows when you’ve done your personal best.
Even when no one else does.
We’re not all wired the same way. We don’t all have the same personalities. We don’t all have the same gifts and abilities. We haven’t all had the same life or the same experiences.
So faithfulness–or personal best–will never look the same from one person to the next.
Even in our own lives, our personal best won’t look the same from one day to the next.
We don’t all start at the same place. And we don’t all have the same journey. Some have had tremendous support and encouragement throughout their lives–some have had very little. Some have grown up in nurturing loving homes–others have experienced unthinkable abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to love them. Sometimes the balance changes from season to season.
Because we are unique, even those who do go through similar experiences–experience them differently. Some have come through horrendous trauma and seem relatively unscathed. Others experience what would be minor for another, yet it wounds and scars them deeply.
Only God sees the whole picture in an individual life. We look on the outward appearance of things–God always sees the heart.
Regardless of how much we do or don’t have; regardless of how we’re wired; regardless of our unique gifts, abilities, and experiences; there is something we can all do …
We can do our personal best.
For some, your personal best is simply getting out of bed today and facing the world one more time. For others, your personal best is going out and changing the world.
Whatever it is … do it.
And when you do, remember that even when no one else takes note–heaven does.
Sometimes, I think the loudest and most exuberant “Well done!” will be reserved for those whose names and faces no one ever knew. Those who quietly endured and continued to run the race despite a lack of earthly success and recognition. Those who continued in faithfulness despite great personal cost and numerous obstacles.
Those who gave everything to run their personal best.
What about you? What is your personal best today? Whatever it is, do it. Whether anyone else sees, whether anyone else understands, whether anyone else even cares–do what you know to be your personal best for today.
And all of heaven will cheer.