• 77°

DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Living with excellence

The rumor that Larry Macon allowed me to fly his plane solo is just not true. I am going to have to stop spreading that rumor. I did go to the airport the other day. I went to see Larry Macon receive the FAA’s highest honor for a pilot. He has flown planes for 50 years without any accidents or mishaps. Larry is a step above professional.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

I walked out to see his plane after he received his award. It is a beautiful biplane. I walked up to see where Larry sits and any passenger who dares to ride with him. I am not sure there is a place for my long legs. It is a very tight space.

I am not sure I am brave enough to ride with Larry. You see, Larry doesn’t fly the plane in a straight line. No, his plane doesn’t work that way. I think there must be a warning sign that says, “Caution! This plane flies straight up, straight down, sideways, upside down, but NEVER in a straight line.”

I like flying, but not upside down so my food ends up all over the canopy.

Larry flies with absolute excellence and precision. He competes all up and down the east coast, and when he enters a competition it’s a pretty high probability that he will win. Every time he flies his plane upside down or straight up until it stalls, he is executing moves that will be graded on how perfectly he completes the maneuver.

Larry has been trained by some of the best in the industry, and he can train you if you want to learn to fly. If you ever get on a commercial flight and see Larry sitting on the plane, you can rest easy. If anything were to happen to the pilots, Larry could get everyone home safely…safely, that is, after he flies the plane upside down over the airport and then back around for a perfect landing.

I have known Larry through our church, where he is the church administrator. He brings the same precision to our church finances. Every dollar that comes into our church is carefully accounted for and with complete transparency to our church congregation. I love numbers and I can assure you that Larry does everything right. He lives his life at a higher level and raises the bar for anyone who comes in contact with him.

I have always tried to live my life right. I want to be perfect for my Heavenly Father. The trouble is that I fail miserably. I can’t seem to live an hour, much less a day, without having wrong thoughts, attitudes, choices and behaviors. I need a savior who can wash me with His blood and present me clean before the Father.

If you are striving to live perfectly, give up. No one is perfect. God doesn’t want or expect us to live perfectly. But I do believe that God wants us to live with a level of excellence. Living life with excellence means that we bring our “A” game to everything we do. I don’t like it when someone tells me that they are a Christian and then they do lousy work for me.

We can lead our lives with integrity. We can lead our lives as good examples for others in our field of work. We can treat people fairly and honestly. We can be a role model for children.  Again, not perfect, but choosing to live right for God.

I am dependent every day on God to make me a righteous man. I am dependent every day on Jesus to forgive my sins and failures. I am dependent on the Holy Spirit to guide me in my decision-making and to lead me on the path of life.

If I will spend time in His word it will wash my mind and refresh my soul. If I will seek His kingdom and His righteousness then I will find life. If I will choose to listen for that still, small voice, I will discover a life filled with integrity. I believe I can achieve excellence by following in His steps.

I want to encourage you to stop chasing perfection, which is unobtainable, and seek excellence. You can choose to live your life with integrity and bring honor and glory to God. Work hard at the tasks God gives you to do. Give it your best and leave the rest in His hands. Making the right choices in life requires God’s help. Lean on Him. Trust Him. Walk with Him, He will show you the way.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com