Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Perfect

We've had a lot of sermons in the last few weeks about devotion and "nobody's perfect".  What has really struck me though all of the messages is that we as Christians (and even those who view Christians from "outside {for lack of a better word}) view ourselves and other Christians through this preconceived notion that we must be perfect; we can NEVER make mistakes.  As soon as someone makes a mistake I hear people all around, from all walks of life, say things like 'and they call themselves a Christian...' or 'obviously they just aren't as devoted as they should be...'

I would like to pose a question. Ok, maybe a series of questions. {grin}

How many of us have watched the Olympics?

How many of us have admired them for their dedication and devotion to their sport?

Let's take figure skating for example because...well, because that's what I thought of first.

Sally is a figure skater. She goes to the rink every morning at 5 AM to practice for 2-3 hours/day (5-6 days a week). She eats the right foods, goes to bed early, misses people's birthdays or other special gatherings if they conflict with her skating schedule or competitions. Sally does all these things and we call her, with admiration, extremely devoted to figure skating.

Sally makes it to the Olympics. Wow! There's a whole other level of devotion to get there, is there not?  During Sally's routine she snags her pick in the ice and falls in the midst of one of her jumps, landing firmly on ice, sliding into a not-so-perfectly executed routine. Does that make her any less devoted to figure skating?

What do we do when Sally graciously rises to the occassion, gets herself back in time with the beats on the sound system and carries right on with the rest of her routine? We applaud. We shout 'good for you! Don't let that little mistake bring you down! Keep your eye on the prize!"

What do we, too often, do when that person who catches their pick in the midst of life and finds themselves sprawling across the ice is a Christian? All too often I think we will find ourselves hearing, or saying 'and they call themselves a Christian' or 'who do they think they are coming here?' or 'what kind of a Christian would do that'... We know all the accusatory words that have been hurled at us or towards someone else (perhaps even by us).

Why can't we simply say 'Keep your eye on the prize!' as they pick themselves up, brush the snow off their backsides, and attempt to get themselves back into rhythm with the music coming from the sound system? Nobody's perfect. Let's compare, briefly, Saul and David from The Bible: both men did terrible things but God called David a man after His own heart. Why him and not Saul? David had a different heart response than Saul and David was quick to repent for the wrongs he did.

I think we need to change our outlook on perfection and our outlook on devotion because, afterall, isn't devotion, simply, moving forward and increasing? Does being devoted mean you will never make a mistake? Let's look at the devoted life of an athlete and see if we can change our mindsets (and our judgements...)

*Rush, sorry if we ever made you feel like you couldn't fall, like you had to live flawlessly, like you couldn't measure upp, like there were expectation you could never live up to. We never meant for it to come across like that; we are still learning in this thing called life - just as you are. We only meant to save you from the mistakes we have made ourselves... We don't expect perfection, never have. We simply didn't know how to "save" you from those mistakes effectively.

1 comment:

  1. Teenage years are really stretching me and growing me. I've never felt more inept at helping my children out then when they are having problems or issues in their teenage years.

    My "trials" are nowhere near what others have gone through, but they are so difficult at times and can easily overwhelm.

    I love the last paragraph that you wrote to Rush. We really don't expect perfection and that is important to remind our children about.

    The oldest of our children need to know that we are learning as we go too and we have never parented anyone their age or exact personality before and we don't know everything.

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