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ON EXCELLENT WORK

A year or so ago, on the cover of the New York "Herald Tribune" Sunday magazine, I saw a picture of the Statue of Liberty taken from a helicopter. It showed the top of the statue’s head. I was amazed to see the detail there.

The sculptor had done a painstaking job with the lady’s coiffure, yet he must have been pretty sure that the only eyes that would see this detail would be the uncritical eyes of sea gulls. It was dedicated in 1886. The Wright Brothers didn’t fly their first airplane until 1903. So the sculptor could not have dreamt that any man would ever fly over this head.

He was artist enough, however, to finish off this part of the statue with as much care as he had devoted to her face, her arms, the torch, and everything that people can see as they sail up the bay. When you are creating a work of art, or any other kind of work, finish the job off perfectly. You never know when a helicopter, or some other instrument not at the moment invented, may come along and find you out.

(From a sermon by Bobby Scobey, "Essentials #5-Excellence" 2/25/2009)

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