Mediocrity – my wrestling match

Mediocre: Of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance; ordinary, so-so (Mirriam-Webster dictionary).

We die a slow but nearly painless death when we cease striving for excellence and instead settle for mediocrity. Our passion is reduced to passivity, and we unknowingly begin to allow ourselves to think that what we do no longer matters.  Our intimacy in relationships is replaced with isolation, and we slowly begin to feel loneliness despite the fact that we may be surrounded by others.  We allow ourselves to become complacent, experiencing neither gut-wrenching pain nor profound joy.  We simply exist.

I don’t think this is the life God designed for us.  I believe that Colossians 3:23 moves us to work at our tasks heartily – from the soul – as something we do for God and not for others; our Creator knows that we are less than fulfilled when we settle for mediocrity.  As heirs to the Kingdom of Christ, we were created for so much more and feel inadequate when we stop striving to be our very best in ALL aspects of our lives.

As for me, I don’t want to leave this earth knowing that what I did was mediocre.  I’m not satisfied to have average relationships with my husband, my children, my family, or my friends.  I don’t want to simply exist – I want to experience all the joy, pain, exhilaration, and heartache that this world throws my way because experiencing these things means I am ALIVE – and if I am ALIVE God must still have a purpose for my existence.

But…

What do you do when the people around you settle for mediocre and you strive for something more – for something extraordinary and excellent? Particularly, how does one cope with the frustration that accompanies the desire for passion and intimacy versus passivity and aloofness? How does one reconcile the “what could be” with the “what is?” Frustration becomes imminent and, before one knows it, distance creeps in and begins to separate individuals because they no longer desire the same outcome. Relationships become strained, silence becomes common, and shallow conversations are the best one can hope for.

Uh oh…

For those dissatisfied with mediocre, how does one balance desire for more with a desire to keep a relationship intact? Can two dissimilar approaches – the contentment with mediocrity and the pursuit of excellence – coexist for the long haul without significant friction or dissolution? Can friendships and other intimate relationships survive dissimilar approaches from the individuals involved? 

What do YOU think?

Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.” (Amplified Bible).