The perfect moment. The perfect wave. The perfect man/woman/dog/cat/other. The perfect storm. It has been a summer of perfect (and what should have been perfect) baseball games. The perfect ___ you fill in the blank. We throw that word around with such abandon at times.
Then there is the goal to perfect something. Heck, those of us in church polity land even perfect a motion on the floor of meetings (and oh what a painful process it can be!!).
Perfection can be a good thing but it can also be insidious – bringing out the worst rather than the best.
I am driven by perfection. I beat myself up when something I do is less than perfect. I can’t tell you how hard it was to start running again post college and know that I wasn’t going to win the race. Although I hate to admit it, there have been times I’ve passed on a challenge because I knew I couldn’t do it right (read perfect) the first time around.
I’ve pushed myself to move beyond the need to be perfect in some ways: a week of Spanish language immersion school in Honduras; my return to golfing (no such thing as a perfect game in golf, is there?). It is hard work, though.
As the pharmacist at the Coumadin clinic yesterday (still dealing with a blood clot post knee surgery) worked out my dosage plan for the week to keep me at therapeutic level, I commented that it looked like a chess game – fitting in the appropriate dosage on a given day. “Over the years I’ve perfected it,” she said. “Even with all the variables, I guess you can do that in this sort of job,” I replied. “What do you do,” she asked. “I’m a pastor.” And before I could even get the final syllable out her retort captured the truth: “that can’t really be perfected can it!”
The reality is I disappoint people. The sermon isn’t quite what I had planned. I forget to check in on someone. I get angry or frustrated in a meeting. I’m not perfect.
Did you know that there are those fanatics out there that actually listen to their music on records so that they can hear the pop and hiss of recording that is missing from more “modern” techniques? They say it makes it more real. Closer to how it was originally performed. Less santized. More human.
I am enough. Not perfect but enough. I’m human.
The Hassidic sage Rabbi Zusya said that on the Day of Judgment, God would ask him, not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya.
You are enough.