The wind whips raw like a slap across my unprotected cheeks, tossing my hair into messiness and icing my fingers. So much for using the straightening iron. That’s 5 minutes I’ll never get back. Leaves scurry around my feet, chased by gusts and discarded by the trees that have slipped into slumber. The seasons change, the air chills, and I am caught in longing…my heart aching to capture one perfect moment.
To be perfect. You would think, that at 30-something, with 3 tiny kids, that I would be over it. Oh, no. I’m not. How I frustrate myself, obnoxiously insisting on holding myself to unachievable standards. Fretting and fussing when I fail to attain them. Grasping for perfect moments that I can quick freeze and hoard for later.
And I read in Romans how easy it is to know right and how hard it is to live it. Anatomy class may teach about the blood-brain barrier, but I feel it every day: the disconnect between what I know cerebrally and experience emotionally. How I can preach the goodness of grace while unaware of the resentments on slow simmer in my heart…and then get blindsided when they bubble over and I spew anything but grace.
The whole point of Romans 2 is summed up in the question: Who among us is perfect? And the answer rings like church bells on Sunday morning: not one.
Perfectionism births dissatisfaction.
And, honestly, that’s not always a bad thing. The bad comes in when I turn to self-flagellation instead of the cross. When I offer Him my works instead of my heart. The law can only illuminate; it cannot transform. Your efforts and mine to clean up our own acts…they are doomed to failure.
Jesus died for you and me.
Imperfect you and me.
It is His great love that is transformative. That is the miracle of the Gospel – the ability for God’s love to change a human heart one day at a time…redeeming jealousy, and pride, and anger, and unforgiveness, and yes, even perfectionism.
And those perfect moments? Maybe they’re overrated. If I toss out everything but “perfect”, I’ve got nothing left. I’ll take sticky kisses and messy floors and wind-blown hair, and I’ll take tiny little hands covered in dirt and we can all go to the cross together and glory in Him.
‘Cause He’s not done with any of us yet.
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