The Difference Maker

The Difference Maker

About 15 years ago a friend said something I’ve thought of many times. She said, “God doesn’t ask us for for perfection, but, He does ask us for excellence.”

As I’ve pondered excellence over the years and, indeed, striven toward it, I find it more and more lacking in our society.

Not to worry… This will not be a rant on societal dysfunction, but, rather, a telling of the goodness of striving for excellence and becoming a difference maker in our individual corners of the world.

Read on…

Definition of excellence:

The quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

Solomon was one of the greatest men and wisest people to ever walk the earth. When he was but a boy, he was made King. The following is one of my favorite bible passages:

Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom

In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” Solomon said to God, “You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. 2 Chronicles 1:7-12

I love the idea that Solomon could have asked for any of the other things God mentioned, but chose to humble himself, knowing, though he was now King, he was but a servant, called of God, to care for His flock.

What does any of this have to do with being a difference maker in our corner of the world?

Hang on…. I’m getting to that, I promise.

Meet Shelley…

Shelley is a difference maker. She is a single mom who worked, sometimes two jobs, to put herself through nursing school. She wanted to be a Registered Nurse and was willing to do what ever it took to do so.

I first met Shelley about four years ago when my mother-in-law was in the rehabilitation wing at the retirement home she lives in. Though not an RN then, Shelley was one of the people who helped to get my mother-in-law back on her feet and back to her normal life. She was special. Always with a smile and kind word regardless of how tired she was.

About a year or so ago Shelley was temporarily filling in for someone on the assisted living floor where my mother-in-law lives. My mother-in-law was so happy to see her! So was I! Shelley told me she was nearly finished with nursing school and looking forward to fulfilling her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse.

Just recently my mother-in-law found herself in need of rehabilitation again. Guess who was there to greet her upon her arrival in the rehab wing? Yep, Shelley! Only this time, Shelley was the RN on duty. Yay! After eight long years of working full time, going to school and taking care of her children, Shelley got her degree! Such a happy day!

There are many good people I have met along my mother-in-law’s journey in the retirement home, but Shelley was, and is, unique. Some people behave as if they care, but Shelley genuinely cares. She goes above and beyond her job description to show love and concern for her patients. She’s just special that way. She does, indeed, strive for excellence and is a difference maker to many.

Shelley reminds me a lot of Solomon. Her degree in nursing has not changed her one bit. She is still the same Shelley who has always smiled brightly to each and every one of her patients. Though she has her degree and the letters RN after her name on her badge, she knows she is still a humble servant, asked by God, to care for a few of His aging flock.

To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

Dr. Seuss

There are many Shelley’s in the world. I just wanted to highlight her, as an example to all of us, to reach for excellence and to strive to become a difference maker in the lives of those around us.

How about you? Do you know a difference maker? Are you the difference maker in your corner of the world?

Are you the one in your marriage going the extra mile? God sees you and is proud of you for all you do to create a beautiful marriage.

Are you a single mother working hard to provide for your children all while teaching them to grow into God fearing, excellence striving adults? God sees and is proud of you. He is there with you every step of the way.

Maybe you’re in a difficult working environment, feeling under appreciated. God sees you and is oh so proud of how you work hard to be a difference maker on the job.

As we strive for excellence; to be someone who makes a positive difference in the world, sometimes we grow weary and just need a pat on the back and a kind word to keep us going.

So, from me to you, GREAT JOB! Remember, God loves you and sees all of your hard work.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.


In His embrace,


Thank you for sharing, liking and as always for your thoughts.

6 comments to The Difference Maker

  • Susie  says:

    Excellent article Toni! Really enjoyed reading about Shelley and her dedication to truly caring for those she serves. Thanks for sharing a bit f her story!

    • Toni  says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the encouragement too!

      God bless you and yours Susie!

  • Leona Brudjar  says:

    Thank your so much for the encouragment. I believe the only way we can strive for excellence, is by trusting in the Holy spirit who lives in us. He makes the Lord Jesus so very precious

    • Toni  says:

      I couldn’t agree more Leona! So glad for this truth!

  • Jerry Ryan  says:

    Another great devotional honey! You are a difference maker!

    • Toni  says:

      Thank you my love!

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