Why did I just put a picture of a bunch of birds? Well, because the idea for this post came to me on the way back from the grainery, where our chicks and ducklings currently reside. I went out to tuck them in for the night and turn on the radio to deter the local raccoon. Unfortunately, I learned that the heat lamps had tripped the outlet in the garage, leaving them in a cold dark stall. So I hiked back to the garage and reset the outlet, then hiked all the way back to give them fresh water and food. Meanwhile, Kiwi, my delightful milking goat, decided she wanted to be milked. So she came in and kicked her way through a milking, giving me almost a half gallon. I observed the birdies a bit longer to make sure they had survived their little power outage, and then hiked back to the house.
You see, I’ve been trying to really do my best to take care of these little birdies. I want to really be tuned into their needs, and spoil them a bit. I don’t want to just do the minimum, which I often defaulted to in the past. I have been trying to do my best in many areas of my life. I really want to have a clean kitchen, and I really am trying to put forth the effort to have a clean kitchen every day. I want my children well educated, so I’ve been putting forth the extra effort to help them succeed. This can be really tough sometimes. We don’t always want to give our best.
But helping us do our best is what Torah is all about. Torah helps us to do our best as a spouse. It helps us do our best as a parent. It helps us do our best in our relations with our neighbors. It helps us take care of our animals in the best way we can. And when we fail unintentionally, YHVH provides ways for us to make amends.
I have often failed to strive for reaching my full potential. I know I could do much better than I am, but I didn’t want to put forth the effort. One day, I was praying and asking YHVH what He wanted me to do.
He simply said, “Do what you’re doing, only better.”
What can I do better?
I can clean the house better.
I can educate my children better.
I can take care of my animals better.
I can be a better wife.
But these are big thoughts! How do I actually start doing better?
Well, when I get up in the morning, I can make my bed instead of just leaving the room. When I eat breakfast, I can throw the dirty dishes in the sink and wash them real quick instead of letting them pile up. When the kids start school, I can sit with Sadie for 10 minutes to do a reading lesson instead of dilly dallying with unimportant things. I can turn an egg carton into a math manipulative instead of handing them another worksheet. I can sit with Doug and chat instead of sitting in front of the computer. I can hike to the grainery at 10 pm to check on my birdies instead of betting on them being ok. These are all little things, but they all are part of doing better. YHVH wants us to do our best at whatever task He has given us. And though it may seem like a huge leap to “do my best”, I can always take a step and do better.
We don’t have to be employed in glamorous jobs to do our best. We can do our best right now in whatever we are doing. When we do our best, we bring glory to our Father.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
What can you do better?