Saturday, January 31, 2015

Is it Ever Too Late?

I'm going to tell on myself here: I'm pretty crappy in a whole lot of areas. For example, I still have my mom's Christmas AND birthday presents sitting unwrapped in my bedroom...I didn't even send her a card. My kids have a pen pal in San Francisco and they wrote to her at the beginning of December...I still haven't sent their letters. At church we have a "Secret Pal" program where folks are paired with widowed individuals or those home bound or in the nursing home. The whole point is to let your Secret Pal know someone is thinking of them throughout the year. Last year, I managed one month. One. Month. It's pathetic! I was given another pal this year (they admitted they just really needed the help.) And here it is January 31, and I JUST got my pal's card in the mail. I try to post here weekly and it's been, well, four months. And, by the way, my Christmas tree is still up. Oh goodness I'm embarrassed admitting all of this. Everything just sort of piles up and I think, "It's just too late!" 

But is it? Is it too late? Is my idea of perfection hindering any sort of progress? The crazy thing is that I know I'm not perfect; I admit I'm far, far from perfect. Nevertheless I harbor perfectionism. The idea that if something is not done "right" or in the "right time," it's not worth doing. My plan was to take the tree down shortly after the New Year. My plan fell through so the tree is still up.

I guess the good news is that admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery. But I have to TAKE the step. Staying in one place equals defeat. My goal needs not to be perfection but progress. As I crawl, stumble, stagger toward the goal, I have to keep in mind that I'm moving forward. Any inch gained is an inch closer to the person I want to be.

Are you like me? Do you harbor inner perfectionism? Maybe you need the house cleaned a certain way and if it's not done that exact way it's not clean (even if it really is clean by most standards.) I have a friend who would completely re-write her notes from class if she thought a word or two was "messy." Perfect isn't reality. Reality is messy, and thankfully God doesn't call us to perfection. He calls us to completion.

James 1:4 (NIV) says, "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Notice it say nothing about perfection finishing its work, but perseverance. To persevere is just to muddle through; gaining ground toward the finish line. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "to continue doing something...even though it's difficult." There are seasons when it seems that everything is difficult. (Obviously taking down the tree has proven difficult or I would have done it a month ago.) But God is calling me to persevere because it's not too late.

It's not too late to...
  • Mend the relationship
  • Make the phone call
  • Say "I'm sorry"
  • Pray more
  • Get healthier
  • Yell less
  • Smile more
  • Try new things
  • Go different places
  • Admit you were wrong
Friends, stay your course, whatever it is. The road is going to get rough at times and if you're banking on perfection then expect to be broke. One foot in front of the other.

Perfection is a myth, progress is the goal, perseverance is the key.

No comments:

Post a Comment