A guest at a hotel was in a hurry to check out when he realized he did not have his briefcase. He went to the bellboy and said, "Would you please hurry to room 1203? I think I left my briefcase there. My limo for the airport leaves in six minutes, so please hurry." The man checked out, and after a few minutes the bellboy came hurrying across the lobby. "Yes, sir," he said. "Your briefcase is still there in 1203." He did just as he was told.

Many people do the minimum, spending just enough effort to get through the job or life. These people are often unhappy, cautious, suspicious, and without much thought or feeling about what they are doing. There is no joy in minimum performance. The biblical faith, however, challenges believers to live life to the maximum, to "the max." Paul urges the Corinthian Christians, "As you excel in everything in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving" (2 Cor 8:7).

(from The Lutheran Witness, Armed Forces edition, July 2001)