There have been times in my life when I have sought perfection.
Perfection of body.
Perfection of grades.
And I have found it to be elusive- a chase after the wind.
There we so many times when I said- if only I do this, then I will be content- life will be perfect- I will be right where I want to be.
It has never proved true for me. The more I fixated on perfecting my body- the more prideful and focused I became on how many calories I was eating, how much I was exercising- it consumed my life.
Would I have said during that season of my life that I loved God? Oh yes. I was still active in my church and at my job I shared my faith- but perfection of my physical body was an idol. I truly believed that I would find greater happiness in this life if my body was physically “perfect.”
But what is perfect? When we are created with “flaws,” both without and within?
Our culture was driving my life- my desires. I compared myself with women in magazines- determined to rid myself of every bit of cellulite.
I was reaching- driving toward a desire that slipped away each day as I futilely reached out-grasping…
But I just kept reaching- kept cutting out calories- kept depriving myself.
There was never an arrival time. Only a growing sense of I will never be good enough. There will always be someone more beautiful- more perfect. I have too many scars- my legs will never have enough tone…
What is your idol?
Your “if only…”
Your one thing that you fixate on? If only “this” happened, then everything would be ok, my life would be the way I want it- moving in the direction I want.
We must surrender these things to Christ.
See them for what they truly are.
Mirages that the enemy sets up to distract us from our Savior.
If he keeps us distracted daily by frivolity- then we fail to be effective disciples for Christ.
Chasing illusive dreams that always remain just out of grasp.
We reach and strain- feel our fingers almost touching….and then it slips away.
Leaving us unfulfilled, empty, dissatisfied.
And even when we may achieve a dream- grasp it in our hands- it never satisfies us like we hoped. We are always left empty- chasing after the next dream.
Sin can lead us in an endless cycle.
Hoping that this time we will find it, we will grasp it, and it will be enough.
Our problem starts at the beginning.
We must invite God on the journey with us- in ALL things.
If He is first- through His Holy Spirit He will direct our paths and bless our efforts. We will be fruitful because God is working in us and through us- not because through our own efforts we accomplish anything.
He purifies our path.
Uses the detours.
Shapes and molds us along the journey.
Perfection is not reached on our own- not our own terms, nor our own priorities.
The only perfection we achieve in this life is continual communion with God.
When He truly lives in us and through us moment by moment- we can accomplish anything- by His Grace.
Lord, my God. How excellent is your Name in all the earth. I come before you today confessing that I have wasted time. I have taken for granted your gifts, I have complained and moaned over minor inconveniences- unwilling to sacrifice for you- but striving and straining with all my will and desire to perfect my body. I have done things to satisfy my pride and to “fit” societies mold. Forgive me for not seeking you first- for not truly asking and seeking- is this of you? Are you in this God? Am I asking your blessing or ignoring your warnings?
I don’t want to make excuses for my sin- for the hold-outs in my life. I want to live surrendered- sold-out. Help me God. Save me from my sin, through the power of your Holy Spirit working in me. May the truth of your Word permeate my whole being- empowering me to do good works in your Name. Oh God- I want to leave a mark in this world for you. To look back on my life and say, I finished the race; I kept the faith. Free me for joyful obedience I pray. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.