I cleaned all the plexiglass with a vinegar - water solution, but the ink marks did not budge. My boss encouraged me to try harder. I thought I already was pushing hard. So I applied even more pressure. I saw some of smudges begin to vanish. I tried even harder, and finally they disappeared.
Why did it take the encouragement of my boss to push harder? Why didn't I naturally do that? Admittedly, I didn't know if the marks were going to come off. I rubbed hard the first times, but not hard enough. Why didn't I try hard enough?
It makes me wonder about how many times I failed at something because I did not try hard enough. It also makes me wonder if I am satisfied at applying 70% of my energy to a project, what will make me apply 80%? Or, maybe if I think 70% is my 100%, how can I dig deeper within to reach that 100% effort.
This reminds me of a movie "Facing the Giants." After starting the season losing a few games, the coach challenges the team to give it all that they have and "to leave it all out on the field." A player disrespects what the coach was saying, so the coach challenges him to do a "death crawl" (or some name like it) for 30 yards. (The "death crawl" walks on hands and feet, and in this case the player was blind folded and carrying another player on his back.) The coach did not stop him at 30 yards though; the coach encouraged him to keep crawling until he had absolutely nothing left. The player crawled the whole field, and that totally amazed all the other players. That transformed the whole team in how they played football, studied, and lived. Good movie.
Why do we settle for less than we have? Why do we just try to get by, even if we think we are working hard? How would life change if I went after everything 100%? How would that change my relationship with my wife and sons? How would that change my work at the flower shop or at the church? Most importantly, how would that change my relationship with God?
I had more within me than I knew. I wasn't trying hard enough. When I dug deeper within and tried harder, I actually succeeded. No, I may not succeed in everything, but at least I'll know I gave my "best shot." When I do that, and when I let God fill in the blanks, it is amazing what he can do.