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The story goes that when Michelangelo completed the painting of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, he was asked why he had spent so much time on areas which would be unseen by people because of the height and the position. His reply was that whilst these areas might not be seen by people, they were seen by God, and he painted for the glory of God.

We may feel that Michelangelo’s genius is beyond us and that his attitude therefore need not apply to us, but mediocrity is not a right response to God’s extravagant love and care for us. A laissez-faire attitude towards God is not what God requires. He seeks for us to give our all to Him, to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Excellence is the opposite of mediocrity, but it’s clothed in hard work. Thomas Edison once remarked, ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’ Michelangelo himself said, ‘If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.’ To eschew mediocrity means to be prepared to work hard at whatever God calls us to do: ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ (Col 3:17)