Saturday, October 9, 2010

Perfect Is The Enemy Of Good...

I have someone very dear to me who always tells me not to let perfect be the enemy of good. That's his way of nicely telling me to stop being such a control freak. Truthfully, I am quite sure it grates on his nerves, he's just too nice to say so. Anyway, just exactly what does this mean, perfect being the enemy of good? Let's take a look...

Shocking as it may seem, I have a tendency to be quite annoying when I am trying to get something just right. For a period of time, my friends called me Martha Stewart. In my naivety I took this as a compliment; in hindsight I don't think it was. I love to entertain but I used to stay up all night before a holiday to cook, clean, iron tablecloths, remove the stink from the dogs, etc. just to be sure everything was perfect. I would literally drive my family insane to the point my husband would stop talking to me.

Then about eight years ago I figured something out - when I go to someone's house I could not care less what their home looks like, how good the food is, how much wine is available (okay, I do kinda get concerned about that one; if I'm in for the long haul I want a nice glass of wine to get me there); or if the table cloth is pressed. I had an epiphany: if I'm not doing that to them, then chances are they are not doing it to me. I am coming to enjoy their company ~ everything else is secondary. I definitely lightened up on the Martha Stewart complex (yes, I did honey; stop laughing at me!) Good definitely trumped perfect here because I stopped making it about me and more about time with our family. It's all good.

I am now of the full understanding perfect is unattainable on earth; there is only one truly perfect place and here ain't it. But better is always something to strive for. I truly believe I am wherever God needs me to be at the moment He needs me there. The best I can do is offer my greatest effort in glory to Him.

Many times I am in the background where ultimately no one even knows who I am or I am involved. It is my intent to honor others by offering the paramount of what I have to give. And yes, I can be annoying. And yes, this means when I screw up I usually screw up perfectly as well - no doing it half-way. Half-way honors no one.

Along with this passion causing me to be perfectly annoying comes the passion to care deeply, which is truly the root of the contentious relationship between good and perfect. When we tell our children, "Yes that paper is good, but what can you do to make it better?" we do so because we care. And we want them to care. Because if no one cares...what's the point?

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