Perfection Vs. Excellence

I’m staring at a blank screen. What to say? To wax eloquent about the blossoming trees perfuming the air? To provide a handy haiku on the lovely sunsets, now the blue sky has rejoined the sun in their perfect, yet seasonal, partnership?


But here’s a sunset for you anyway. Hey, it’s *from* Washington. Just not in my neck of the woods.

washington sunset.jpg


Had a great conversation with a friend today. We talked about the essence of walking with Christ daily. I had made a mistake with his timesheet (due today, people!) that cost us both a bit of time.

“See? I’m not perfect,” I asserted.

He laughed.

“Yeah, but you’re striving for perfection, right?”

No. Perfection is a dirty word to me. I’ve already been that person. Driven. Living on a strict diet and filling in any nutritional gaps with hundreds of dollars in supplements. Exercising to the point of exhaustion every day. Hating every ripple, jiggle and bit of flab hanging onto my body. For years, I thought if I could just have the perfect body, aka all-my-ribs-showing-skinny, I’d be happy. I bought into the lie that physical beauty trumped everything. Never mind all the other heart and thought issues I had. The body took precedence. Back in high school, I wanted to get straight As, letter in sports and be first chair flute. I worked hard, probably too hard. And…well. I lettered in band.

My point is that perfection is an illusion, like chasing clouds, or getting a cat to turn vegan. Even if you get to your goal weight, you still might not be satisfied. This life, with all its trappings, remains transient. I’d rather chase excellence. I need to be the best me I can be, through Christ. I can’t copy someone else or try to meet someone else’s standard. This doesn’t mean I slack off and lie around, trusting that simply living in this skin is enough. No. Everyone needs to figure it out for themselves. Pursuing excellence actually springs us from the trap of never feeling good enough. We can embrace what we do have, and celebrate it.

 This scripture sums it up for me:  But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. – Luke 12:48. Our lives, our bodies are part of that “much”.  So take heart! You have much already. Now, what will you do with it? This could be the start of a great adventure.



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