Monday, May 5, 2014

Not so perfect

We're SO busy, working SO hard, trying to make everything SO perfect, we lose sight of the fact that nothing will ever be SO perfect and in fact, it is Jesus we need; the only perfect being ever.

A friend said something the other day that really made me stop and think. I made an initial note of it, relating to wanting everything SO perfect but not understanding that it can NEVER be that way until we go home to meet Jesus, then I sat down to hammer out this point.

Why then do we pine for perfection in this life when as Christians we are painfully aware of the imperfectness of this place? Are we simply trying to manage the time and space better? Are we simply trying to make things more tolerable? I wish that were the case but I truly believe that Christ followers have fallen victim to the idea of heaven on earth based on perceived ideals. If this is the case, it explains why people snap. And even prior to people losing it, so to speak, it explains why so many on this earth are living lives filled with frustration and angst, especially when discussing polarizing topics such as religion and politics.

I don't think this is a simple case of blaming the media or our society or prevailing thought or religion or politics. There really isn't one place to lay blame except possibly on ourselves. We have allowed ourselves to be duped into believing we can achieve some level of perfection if we would simply vote a certain way, buy a certain product, listen to a certain program, act a certain way, wear specific clothes, speak in a particular way or even become educated to a certain degree. This is all a hoax and a ruse and a lie and it cannot be achieved; not here.

Getting this out is having a profound effect on me and I am realizing that for so long I simply wanted people to see my point of view because if they did, they would become aligned with not only my way of thinking, but with what I perceived as right. It's more than simply offering up my opinion and expecting someone to accept it, it's believing that my opinion is more correct than theirs and will usher in a more perfect state of being in the world. Clearly, that rationale is inane, among other things.

Politics has provided the most recent examples of this type of insanity and we are all fools for believing that one side, or one point of view, can fix everything. This is the greatest scam of them all, indeed. However, religion has also provided us prime examples of this same methodology. For centuries, men and women (men especially) have gone so far as to go to war to espouse their opinions in regards to religion and those opinions vary from man to man, from city to city, from country to country and so on.  Are we really so crazy as to believe that we are going to usher in a more perfect state by going to war over whose God is better? Or killing in the name of "insert your opinion here"?

This is not to suggest we should not stand upon our principals, morals, ethics and laurels. It is important to be a principled man (or woman) in this life. However, it is also important to be rational and realistic and understand that even our principals are imperfect because everything in this place is imperfect. And yet, we impose our imperfections upon others by expecting them to be perfect, even though rationally we should know better. We somehow rationalize that perfection is not possible and even man's obsession with science can prove that and yet daily we seem bent on destruction over the idea that it is. Our relationships fall apart because of it and then we turn around and attempt to explain it all away by claiming that if only we had known more, or practiced harder, or worked more, or spent more time on, when in all truth what we all need to do is love more and give more grace.

Love and grace. On this planet, there are not any more perfect examples of perfection than these 2 things. This life will not be made better by their absence, instead it can only be made worse and we have mountains of data to prove it. And yet, even with such insurmountable evidence, we attempt to fill our lives with temporary substances and false hopes based on a place that we know for a fact is eventually going to go away. If this doesn't prove insanity, I don't know what does.

Skeptics might contend that while absolute perfection is unattainable, we can come close to perfection and therefore should be satisfied with that. I will tell you that you will never be satisfied with “almost perfect”. You will strive and push and chase after and ache for things to be just a little more perfect than they were the last time. This is a guarantee and can be seen in all facets of life from the way we vote to the way we drive.

Perfection is truly unattainable in this life. Because of that simple and yet profound truism, we must learn the fine art of grace and the distinct joy of love. Without them we will chase the wind and die trying to catch it in our vain pursuit of perfection.

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