“I want to say that it’s been a pleasure teaching you this semester. I know you’ve all worked extremely hard and many of you are off to medical school after summer. So that no one gets their GPA messed up because they might have been celebrating a bit too much this week, anyone who would like to opt out of the final exam today will receive a “B” for the course.”
There was much rejoicing amongst the class as students got up, passed by the professor to thank him and sign out on his offer. As the last taker left the room, the professor looked out over the handful of remaining students and asked, “Any one else? This is your last chance.” One final student rose up and took the offer.
The professor closed the door and took attendance of those students remaining. “I’m glad to see you believe in yourself.” he said. “You all have “A’s.”
Too often, we’re content to settle for second best. A lot of students would be thrilled to settle for a “B” (“That’s better than I usually get.” “That’s doing better than most of the others I know.”). And most students, I think, would rather get a “B” with little time spent studying, than to make the effort it takes to get an “A”.
A lot of us are content to settle for second best in our spiritual lives as well. We’re close to God (at least closer than many people we know), but we aren’t willing to take the time and the effort to have the kind of relationship we know God wants us to have.
The biggest problem with settling for second best is that we miss out on that which is best.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ ” (Luke 10:42)
What Martha was doing was good (second best, even), but “Mary has chosen what is better.” May we always seek out and choose “what is better” in our relationship with God!