The im­pos­si­ble quest

The Catoosa County News - - FORT -

I get an­gry at him, oh, so fre­quently. I have worked on him; pun­ish­ing, lec­tur­ing, pray­ing, ca­jol­ing, en­cour­ag­ing and yet I can never seem to fully achieve my de­sired re­sults with him.

No, he is not a mon­ster, but he cer­tainly is im­per­fect. And that im­per­fec­tion gnaws at me, kid­naps my thoughts; I take it in­tensely per­sonal.

I sup­pose I should, for he is me.

Grow­ing up I al­ways as­sumed men of God had ev­ery­thing to­gether, and thus were free to spend all their time straight­en­ing out oth­ers. They were the per­fect hus­bands, the per­fect fa­thers, the per­fect preach­ers, the per­fect friends. I sup­pose I should have paid more at­ten­tion as I read my Bi­ble; men like Peter and Eli­jah and Moses were cer­tainly not per­fect, so how could I ex­pect lesser men to be so?

It may sound un­re­al­is­tic, but I re­ally do want to be per­fect. I sim­ply hate it when my words do not come out right, or when I for­get some­thing I was sup­posed to be do­ing for some­one, or when I un­in­ten­tion­ally hurt some­one.

Yes, I know that ab­so­lutely ev­ery­one does ev­ery sin­gle one of those things, but I want to be the one who doesn’t. I want ev­ery col­umn to be per­fectly thought out, with both the right facts and the right spirit. I want ev­ery mes­sage I preach to be ac­cu­rate, pow­er­ful and com­pas­sion­ate. I want to al­ways be ev­ery­thing my fam­ily and my church mem­bers need me to be.

And yet, de­spite my de­sire and my best ef­forts, logic and a good study of Scrip­ture tells me I will never fully achieve my de­sires. The great apos­tle Paul said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to per­form that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

For all of us, man of God or man of fac­tory or woman of pol­i­tics or what­ever gen­der and what­ever role, there will some­how have to be a bal­ance struck if we are go­ing to sur­vive. Yes, we surely must do our best at ab­so­lutely all times.

1 Corinthi­ans 10:31 says, “Whether there­fore ye eat, or drink, or what­so­ever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Ec­cle­si­astes 9:10 says, “What­so­ever thy hand find­eth to do, do it with thy might.”

Any­thing less than our best ef­fort dis­hon­ors the Lord. The other side of that equa­tion, the thing that gives the bal­ance we need, is a re­al­iza­tion of what we are, and also an un­der­stand­ing of the op­por­tu­nity it af­fords us. By what we are, I am hear­ken­ing back to the truth of Psalm 103:14, which says, “For he knoweth our frame; he re­mem­bereth that we are dust.”

As crea­tures of dust, and fallen crea­tures at that, we will not be per­fect, it is im­pos­si­ble. Strive for it, yes, but only be­cause the higher you aim, the bet­ter you do. If God knows our frame, if he does not ex­pect per­fec­tion from us, then we are free to not pres­sure our­selves by de­mand­ing more of us that he does.

By the op­por­tu­nity it af­fords us, I am think­ing of what our im­per­fec­tion al­lows us to do that per­fec­tion never could; lean on the Lord, make things right, and try again. Our im­per­fec­tions al­low us to say words like “I am sorry” and “I was wrong” and “Would you please for­give me?” It makes us ac­ces­si­ble. It shows hu­mil­ity. It turns a neg­a­tive into a pos­i­tive.

So do your­self a fa­vor; lighten up. Do your best, yes. But when you fail, rather than beat­ing your­self to death over it, make it right, brush your­self off, and try again. And it may just be that one day you are able to re­turn the fa­vor by re­mind­ing me of the ex­act same thing.

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