The Search for Perfection

I just want to be….

I just want to be a good housekeeper.

I just want to be good at redirecting the kids.

I just want to be patient.

I just want to look like a super model.

When I was rattling all of these I just want’s to my husband the other night I know they are not ‘just’s’ and I know that even if I had one of them down to a science I would not be content.  I want it all, I ‘just’ want to be perfect.  Just like my two year old…’I want to do it myself!’

I write on this blog about where we get our perfection from regularly.  I write about one of my favorite passages frequently that talks about being glad of weaknesses.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest up on me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insult, hardships, persecutions, calamities, For when I am weak, then I am strong.   2 Corinthians 12:9-11

I read that passage and I am comforted.  Other times I read that passage and my sinful natures sticks it’s nose in and is rubbed the wrong way by such an idea.  I don’t want to show my weakness.  I don’t want to have insult or calamities.  I want to be the perfect one.  I want to be awesome at it all.  I want to boast about my supposed ‘goodness’.  No matter which mood or place I am in this verse brings me back to the perfecter, it reminds me who I should be pointing others to, and it brings comfort.

Psalm 23 brings so much comfort to so many people.  One section of this psalm can leave me feeling uneasy if I am believing I am the perfecter of my faith and life.

He leads me on paths of righteousness.png

This feels daunting, oppressive, and scary to the point of paralysis if i read it and believe I am suppose to keep myself on some sort of ‘path of righteousness.’  Sometimes I read through Psalm 23 and think “The Lord is my Shepherd and he does all of these things for me.  BUT I must stay on this righteous path.”  WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG.  I am not the one doing the righteous things.

From Psalm 23 we know that the Lord is our Shepherd which means he cares for us.  He does the good things that good shepherds do for their sheep.

HE provides for them.

HE gives them rest.

HE brings us to our baptism.

HE keeps us in and reminds us of our baptismal promises.

What can we know from the psalmist telling us ‘He leads me on paths of righteousness for his names sake.”?

If we read it carefully it says. “He leads me ON paths of righteousness.”  It does not say he leads me to paths of righteousness.  We have already been placed on the righteous path of Christ because of our baptism, because of our faith.  We are walking on that path and he does not just leave us on that path he LEADS us while we walk on that path of righteousness.  We are on it because the one who created it placed us on it.  We are lead on the path by the one who created it for us.

The path of righteousness is not about each step we take.  It’s not about watching each of our feet fall so that we stay righteous.  It is about keeping our eyes on the creator of the path.  He is leading us on this path he created for each of us.  We can rest in knowing that we can look to the one who created the path instead of watching where our feet fall.

In our daily lives it means we get to look to Christ as we change diapers, get ready for work, teach a bible study, run a forgotten lunch to school, bring the kids to baseball, scroll through Facebook, sit next to a still lake, walking the dog, and each thing we do every day.

I can know I don’t have do be the perfect housekeeper, the most patient parent, or look like a supermodel.  I get to keep our house, I get to parent these kids, and I get to move my body and feed it what it needs.  I don’t need to worry each second how well or perfectly I am doing.  When I do it crushes me.  I get to know that I am put on the righteous path by Christ, I am kept on the righteous path by Christ, and I am led on the righteous path by Christ.

What are you doing today?  Know that while you are doing that thing you can remember your baptism, you can look to Christ who keeps you on the righteous path, and we get to do all the things.  (Adding coffee as needed.)


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