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There is a virtue that shows the character of a person who cares. It is called excellence. Excellence is the hand print of God. Poor quality is evidence of fallen nature. Anytime I see a gorgeous sunset, I am amazed at the beauty our Creator displays in creation. I see beauty in the way God crafted the symmetry of plants and animals, the graceful form of a horse, the leafy splendor of a tree, the order in mathematics and chemistry, and how plants and animals depend on each other for their oxygen and carbon dioxide.

As a male human being, I am amazed at the loveliness built into females by God, how every feminine feature is without flaw, made appealing and attractive to men in a purely noble, honorable way. This is the way it should be. She is twice removed from the curse of the fall by being fashioned from Adam's rib, not formed from the dust of the ground as was Adam. Our Creator had excellence in mind when he designed lovely women as a counterpart to us masculine men.

Excellence is a character trait. Demanding excellence is a mark of good leaders. Excellence requires more than working in a slip-shod fashion, barely good enough to get by, marking time on the clock until your day is done. I remember when my father said, "Go back and shut that door the way it was meant to be closed." "Yes, sir," I said, as I went back and did it right. My wife had a saying she often used on the kids, "One done good beats two done ragged."

I didn't like it in South Africa, after apartheid ended, when some of the street lights in Johannesburg stopped working. No one came to fix them. I don't like it when public restrooms don't get cleaned thoroughly. I don't like it when restaurants don't prepare food with pride and don't serve it promptly with courtesy. Anybody can learn a basic skill but caring about people and providing efficient customer service is a character trait that can't always be taught.

I went to a local car wash on MLK which I had previously liked because they provided free vacuum service with the wash. Their vacuums had powerful suction and really cleaned the carpet. But this time, I was disappointed. I went to three different vacuum stations before I found one that worked. Afterwards, I went to the man on duty and complained. You know what he said? "Hey, the vacuums are free. Why are you complaining?" I fired back, "Because somebody here is not doing their job!" That's absentee ownership, a recipe for going out of business.

We stayed at a hotel in Mississippi on a trip to visit my wife's mother, age 92. We had an awesome time with her. Our stay at the motel was not so good. The sign to the entry was not illuminated, making us miss the driveway. The sign on the building itself was out. They put us in a room with a terrible odor. The shower head was from a hardware store like you'd see in a cheap trailer or garage apartment, not a quality motel. We joined the line of folks complaining to the desk clerk the next morning. The sad thing was, the staff were all polite, but totally ineffective at solving problems. The notion of excellence, of exceeding expectations, of doing things for the glory of God, of adding value, had never entered their heads.

-- Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Contact him at or visit The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 01/31/2018

Print Headline: Excellence

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