Michelangelo was once asked by a friend why he labored so long over the intricate details of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, details so tiny no one would ever notice. “After all,” the friend commented, “who will know whether it is perfect or not? “I will,” the artist replied. Hundreds of years later, Michelangelo’s matchless frescoes are regarded among the greatest works of art ever produced. His painstaking attention to excellence and detail is more fully appreciated and admired than ever before.
This attention to detail is perfectly modeled for us by God. From the specifics of the Creation (Genesis 1-2) to the intricate design of the Tabernacle (Exodus 25-40), God demonstrates His consummate skills of planning and implementation. His Tabernacle blueprints would qualify as a cover story for the international magazine of design, Architectural Digest. The revelation of God’s Word reveals that in God’s providence He is constantly paying attention to the details. The question to contemplate is “am I paying attention to the details?”
Whether you consider yourself a big-picture person or a hands-on operator, pursue excellence as you execute tasks both large and small. Every one of us has responsibilities that rank differently in terms of importance. In today’s marketplace, where most workers are overwhelmed with hectic schedules and demanding deadlines, there is a natural tendency to just “get by”. This leads to a tendency toward minimum standards, but we must remember that God is our employer, and He has called us to do everything with excellence to point to His glory (magnificence, wonder, fame, admiration). In other words, “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23; “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise Your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
There is great satisfaction in doing your best in each task-this gift comes from God. We are made in His image, so when we allow Him to conform us to Himself and His ways, we can experience a deeper sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I have observed this in my own home over the past several months. I have watched my wife methodically work through an incredible amount of details as she has helped my daughter plan her wedding–less than two weeks away (you should pause to pray for the Father of the Bride!) As an ex-officio wedding planner, my wife has painstakingly made list after list to make sure every detail is covered as it relates to the ceremony, the caterer, photographer, florist and guests!
What is driving Elaine to such attention and excellence? It is her love for our only daughter. What is motivating you today? May it be a love for God and the desire to bring honor to Him through your work. Will anyone else notice? I can’t answer that, but I do know this-God will and you will!