08 Nov Citius, Altius, Fortius
In London Olympics 2012, Usain Bolt stormed the world through his lightning speed in 100m race, setting a new world record. Today individuals yearn for excellence in every field. Motto of Olympics, ‘Faster, Higher and Stronger’ has influenced every walk of life. To excel is to do better than one has ever done before. Excellent handiwork of God is depicted in the Scriptures and hence He is our model, mentor, and motivator for excellence. God desires excellence from His children to impact the Church, society, and nations. Let
us see a few guidelines from God’s Word and principles from a few success stories.
GUIDELINES FROM GOD’S WORD
Searching the Scriptures, we find three important reasons to excel in all the spectrums of our lives.
Gift to God
Paul wrote to Colossians, “. . .whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord . . . for you serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23). When we plan and initiate something, let us be aware that God Himself is the ultimate recipient of our works. If we are G o d – centric in our approach, then o u r motives refine; our w o r k m a n s h i p quality improves; o u r efforts become sincere. God rejected Cain’s offerings but accepted Abel and his offerings. It is because Abel brought the firstlings and the best portion to God. The Lord is going to reward each one of us according to our works in His Second Coming (Matt. 16:27). Our gift (work) to the Lord – will it be worthy enough to be kept in God’s show case?
Glory to God
Jesus Christ said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Next reason to strive hard for excellence is that when people of the world see our works, they see God and His image. One of the shining examples is Dr Ida Scudder’s Christian Medical College & Hospital at Vellore, TN. Thousands throng its sprawling campus seeking healing & health. In the process they encounter God. Every evangelical is a missionary in this world; every college/organisation is a mission field. God has called us to be missionaries in the market place. So, let our attitudes, actions, and reactions, facilitate people in the dark to see the Light.
Growth in God’s Kingdom
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that “we do all things, beloved, for your edification” (II Cor. 12:9). Edification to people in the
church and society is yet another reason for excellence. Our works should enlighten darkened minds; edify weary souls; extend a helping hand to the Church and enlarge the boundaries of the kingdom of God. Mr Augustine Jebakumar (GEMS), found child labourers
in stone quarries in the Dehri district. Realizing their skills, he started GEMS ITI and helped them to study. They became toppers in
Technical Education, Bihar and got placements in PSUs. The mission met their spiritual, physical, and social needs. Do our efforts
encourage the sheep outside the flock to come into God’s fold and equip people?
PRINCIPLES FOR SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES
Scanning through the lives of many good models in the last three decades, a few principles emerge for achieving excellence, which are worth mentioning:
Excellence is impossible without a vision to achieve this. Vision provides the needed strength, energy, and direction. People who excel are visionaries. They perceive things: Imagination and innovation are their keys. The likes of Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs’ (Apple), Pitrodas (STD), John Samuel (Speed Post) are classic examples. I too was meandering in the early stage of my profession. But the sessions on Excellence in Profession by L.T. Jeyachandran during National Graduates Training Conference in Kotagiri (1993) changed my life. It influenced me to excel in my profession, involve with purpose in the last 2 decades and make a difference. God has planted us in our college/organization with a purpose. Let us fulfil it with great pleasure.
The world has been made better only by people who have the passion to achieve something extra-ordinary. Passion to excel gives the impetus needed to persist and persevere. Passion gives patience amidst failures and disappointments. William Carey’s passion made him to master the languages; toil for the upliftment of the down-trodden; pioneered the cause of mission. In 1996, when our team was vested with the responsibility of obtaining ISO 9001 certification in our unit at Trichy, it was unheard in the Railways. However within
six months we became the first workshop in the history of Indian Railways to achieve this rare feat in July 1996. Further, God gave me an opportunity to lead our team in accomplishing ISO 9001 certification for Diesel Loco Shed, Trichy – first in India among diesel
sheds in June 1998, and for Wagon Depot, Jolarpet – first in India among C&W Depots in October 2001. Nothing is impossible when
we trust God and pursue with prayers and passion.
Par excellence is the result of perspiration. Unless one burns the midnight oil, achievements are unthinkable. Amidst all restrictions, people who are singleminded in their approach double their efforts and reap bounty of blessings. Zieganbalg’s persistence, the first New Testament (Tamil) in India. During 2005-07, our team was to install pollution control projects and obtain Environmental
Management System certification for our workshop. Many thought it was a mission impossible. But our team took a giant leap and
accomplished the certification against all odds in May 2007. Seeing our extra-ordinary efforts, the then GM/S.Rly instituted a Green Shield for assessing workshops’ performance in the environment front. This shield was bagged three consecutive years by us in Southern Railway, which is a record. The victory is the Lord’s. Sure, but our duty is to make the horses ready, isn’t it? (Prov. 21:31).
Somebody quoted TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More. I strongly believe excellence is a result of a great team work.
There are exceptional cases of individuals’ brilliance and performance. However, vast majority achieve excellence in any field as a result of team work. Even the great missile man of India Dr Kalam admitted that first he was part of a team, and then he led teams. Let us remember, God is in team, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Clement Barnabas is an active member of UESI working with Indian Railways as Asst Divisional Mechanical Engineer based in Trichy, TN.