I just stopped trying.
More out of necessity than desire. Fatigue, rather than conscious choice, dictated the decision.
I just couldn’t do it any more.
This wasn’t (isn’t) an easy transition for a self-proclaimed (and defamed) perfectionist. Don’t let my carefree exterior fool you. Between these stick out ears a war has waged for half a century between what is and what could be. What I “should” be lined up against what I am. Between my mind’s fairytale and the stark reality of true life.
And every single time my far fetched expectations were shattered.
No matter how bad I wanted it, worked for it and at it, no matter the plans crafted in my delusional mind that fell flat on the “perfect” scale. And every time I thought, if I just try a little harder, if I just tweak this or that, it will happen!
And 10 seconds later I would land on my face, circumstances would take a sharp turn or real life would interrupt my fantasy.
I’ve battled the perfection monster for 51 years and I finally just got tired of feeling defeated.
And my weary mind thought:
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, IMPERFECTION IS EXACTLY WHERE I’M MEANT TO BE
Maybe the mess is actually a glorious breeding ground for miracles. What if my shortcomings go long in highlighting Jesus’ ability to still make flat water into the finest wine? What if the best laid plans that lie in a heap on my unswept floor serve as fodder for lessons and growth and encouragement for others?
Don’t get me wrong. This is not lazy living. Not an excuse to rest in complacency.
I will still strive for excellence. It’s what Jesus asks of me:
1 Corinthians 10:31 – So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17, 23 – And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…
Romans 12:11 – Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
I will give everything I am to everything I do. BUT I will be okay if it isn’t perfect, if life doesn’t look exactly like the distorted dream that my heart had too long clung to.
My plans may fail. Life may go in a direction that doesn’t line up with this dreamer’s fanciful notion. I will not be in control of the world and situations and people around me that will affect my daily reality. And that’s all right.
Because I hear that Jesus has a plan. That He passionately and purposefully gathers pieces of brokenness and shards of imperfection and mixes them with forgiveness and healing and hope and creates a brilliant masterpiece of colorful, thrown away glass that comes to resemble a window through which He can shine.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 – Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Things might look different than I had imagined. It may turn out that my idea of perfection was never really perfect at all. Because all that needs to show is Him and His perfection.
And I can live with that.
So my sighs are now expressions of relief instead of frustration. My vision is beginning to change as I see the possibilities that spring out of imperfection and the opportunities that are birthed when my little broken meets the Hands of His big perfect.
What will we let Jesus do today with our less than perfect schedules, relationships, plans, jobs? Will we let the mask of virtual perfection slide off our faces and out of our minds and let imperfection have it’s beautiful way with us?
Meet Jesus in the imperfect and just watch what He can do in and through you.