When I was a boy, my father comforted me with words like “Son, if you do your best, that’s good enough.” I grew up believing my best efforts were noble and adequate. I have always appreciated dad’s wisdom. He wanted me to know:
- I could not take pride in work that resulted in less than my best efforts.
- No matter what the outcome, if I did my best I could walk away from every task with my self-esteem intact.
I still believe what my dad told me... mostly. Today I accept a qualified version of his wisdom. My “best efforts” idealism has been tempered. I’ve failed enough times to know that my best is not always adequate to get the job done. Personality conflicts, lack of information, honest differences of opinion, procedural changes, group politics, unforeseen events, pressures to conform, etc., etc. make it impossible to guarantee success every time I try. Sometimes my best is simply not good enough.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding.”
Proverbs 3.5-6 NASB
The amazing artwork above was created by popular illustrator Will Terry. All three pictures remind me of my dad. He was far from perfect and we had our major conflicts growing up. But I know Dad offered me his best advice and the best of himself until the day he died. You can view and purchase Mr. Terry's work at http://www.willterry.com/.