SEPTEMBER 7

Why Settle for Less?

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. COLOSSIANS 3:17

John Flanagan, Jr., was flying a routine Air Force mission during the Vietnam War, seeking to confirm a radio report of 300 enemy Vietcong troops spotted in a nearby area. Flying low above the coordinates of the site zone, he could see nothing that aroused his suspicions or indicated the presence of enemy forces.

But just before he pulled up and headed back for base, the memory of his high-school English teacher flashed through his mind. Father John Mulroy was one of those instructors who never allowed halfhearted work to be passed off as acceptable. His students—like John Flanagan—either gave it their very best or got the consequences for just getting by.

So with a new resolve to swing around and look more closely this time, he spotted a gathering of Vietcong. Not only that, he noticed a squad of American gunships zooming into position to blow them away.

But something didn't look right. Sinking lower, skimming just above the treetops, Flanagan buzzed his plane right into harm's way and recognized that the troops on the ground were not Vietcong but South Vietnamese forces—friendlies! By blocking the ensuing battle at the risk of his own life, he stopped a dose of bad reconnaissance from leading to regrettable bloodshed. The disaster John Flanagan courageously helped avoid by going the extra mile that day earned him a Distinguished Flying Cross and the admiration of his fellow airmen. But many of the accolades could have legitimately gone to a tough-minded teacher who wouldn't let his students settle for
second best.

Are you challenging one another and your children to be the very best you can be?

DISCUSS

Share about a person in your past who really challenged you to do your very best and to never quit before the job was done. Discuss what kind of challenge you want to give your children.

PRAY

Ask God for the perseverance to model excellence and a job well done, realizing that it is ultimately Him that you are seeking to please.  

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