Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Meaning over perfection

My memory is interesting. I can walk in the basement and have no clue why I went down there, and then other times I remember some random event and can even tell you where I was sitting when something happened that would only have significance to me this many years later. This is the scene; I am sitting at my desk facing East in Mr. Brailsford's Civics class at the home of the Central Davis Cubs. We are suppose to write our vocabulary words and their definitions. This is my earliest recollection of my need to have something be perfect. I remember writing down the words and right away making a mistake and having to start over several times (not to worry, I don't need psychiatric care or special meds, I now just use erasable pencils).

As I think about what seems like an insignificant event in my life, I realize that at that moment I was manifesting a problem that would continually hold me back. You see, I know that what should have been an assignment that was meant to help me increase my vocabulary in Civics and be useful if I ever wanted to have an informed and intellectual discussion on politics (I don't, so I'm safe there), just became an exercise in the distraction of trying to write it perfectly and not even paying attention to the definitions.

That scenario has continued to play out in my life. Wanting to have something perfect, I can miss out on the really important part of the assignment in my home. Like when I tried my biannual attempt at FHE (that stands for Family Home Evening not Family's Heated Exchange) In wanting it picture perfect (and anyone who knows the sarcastic brood I have harvested will attest to the long shot that was), I missed the whole purpose of having FHE. In the first place, it wasn't to have a perfectly orchestrated family night but to find more love and connectedness as we learn correct principles. Same thing goes for making an elaborate celebration for a holiday. It isn't about having the perfect pinterest creation (although that can be a fun little add on), it is about togetherness and love. Too much worry about making it perfect can distract me from the real definition of a family, just like in my Civics class.

Christ said that we should be perfect like He is perfect, but I think he was talking about having perfect love. He didn't give the disciples a cute, perfect handout or a perfect, elaborate table setting at the last supper; He washed their feet thus demonstrating the perfect definition of love.

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