Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Pursuit of Perfection

While I was working at Redberry Bible Camp I used to share my testimony at least once a week... Every Sunday night with the girls in my cabin and a couple of times I shared it at campfire with the entire camp. Of course, the campfire testimony was a much shorter version and I remember carefully deciding which parts I wanted to share and which parts should be skipped over... Anyways, all this is to say, I remember one time I shared my testimony with the camp and I talked about my need to be perfect...

You see, I'd been saved for a while. I asked Jesus into my heart at Torch Trail when I was around 12. He came into it, in a big way, but I wasn't living for God by high school. I wasn't even living for myself really. That's the thing about living. It's so easy to drift through your days without ever really choosing what you want your life to look like. Who do you really want your friends to be? What would you really like your relationship with your family to look like? What do you really think about eternity? So often we let our circumstances direct our lives. Anyways. I was drifting with my circumstances. I was unhappy. I needed God. I wanted God.

I thought, "Once I get my life in order then I will be able to ask God back into my life." I needed to cut off a bad dating relationship. I needed to stop lying to my family. I needed to get control of my anger and my bad language. There were all these things standing in between me and a relationship with my savior.

I can't remember when I finally realized the truth. The big huge truth that changed my life forever. I didn't have to be perfect to ask God to be my friend again. I didn't have to wait until I had everything under control. That's the whole point! I could ask God to take my life while I was still a sinner. Christianity isn't about perfect people coming to God with perfect lives and pristine hearts. It's about flawed idiots finally realizing they can't do it on their own reaching out to the one person who can actually help them. Then we can work on all that stuff that hurts us and others... And God can help us! (Well, duh, Becky.)

Lately, I've been forgetting that. I've been trying to be a good mommy, a good wife, a good Christian, and a good everything else, and when I fail I push God away. I don't want to talk to Him when I know I've messed up. I want to hide from Him. I think I need to have things "right" before I can talk to Him, worship him, or hear Him. So I keep on with my devotional time even though it doesn't really mean anything to me, except that I'm doing what I'm supposed to... I feel the disconnection and distance, but I don't try to heal it. I don't want to. I don't feel good enough to be face to face with Jesus... So I avoid Him.

The other night during my obligational time "with" God I read this scripture:

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8 NIV

... And my memory took me back to testimony time around the campfire at Redberry. Somewhere along the way I forgot the big truth that seems to be the key to my faith. I seem to be one of those people who are so determined to be perfect they lose sight of everything else. I seem to keep falling into this fallacy that first of all I can be perfect, and secondly that I need to. How can a truth that is so simple be so elusive to me? When will I ever learn? Maybe I never really will, but I'm getting the feeling that even that expectation is out of line. I'm a screw up, I can't do it, and maybe those things are more okay than I think they are...

10 comments:

  1. wow - thanks Becky - that's a great post. I love stuff that makes you think, especially after I've had a coffee or two and I actually can think! Nice work. This was very uplifting to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing how growing up, we all think we have to be the best at everything..... I don't think there is one person on this world right now who is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can very much relate to what you're saying ... for me it's especially the "perfect mom" thing that is difficult.

    PS. You worked at Redberry Bible Camp? Did you happen to know a Danelle Van Nes (from PA and went to the Alliance Church there)? SHe would have been there in the mid nineties and graduated with me in 1997.... Just wondering...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, goodness, I am the worst person for having this need to be perfect... Everytime I do something that proves that I'm not perfect, I beat myself up over it... I dwell on my mistakes, little things that I did that most people would forget about instantly and still think about even after a year or two... or longer, sometimes...

    You know what?? In some way, we're all screw-ups... So, if we're just like everyone else, it must be okay...

    ReplyDelete
  5. i feel that way alot - that even in the good times, i push God away.
    Speaking of Redberry - have you checked my blog lately??

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dixie: Actually, I am now related to the Van Nes clan... And yes, she was at camp with me.
    Janelle: No, but now you have me burning with curiosity and even though I'm supposed to be making supper I have to go there right now...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey neat!

    Does this mean you know Danelle's married name, by chance, or where she's at? Last time I talked to her we were both just married. We were choir buddies and hung out quite a bit with our youth groups, so I'd like to catch up if you know anything that could help...

    ReplyDelete
  8. good post beck.... kinda neat that we both have posts about redberry... eh?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Becky, would you be able to e-mail me Trav's e-mail address???

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good stuff Rebekah. A few months before he died, my best friend came and talked to me and I mentioned that maybe the reason his life was such a mess was because he was trying to do it alone, without God. He said he had to change some things in his life first and then he would come to Jesus. We all think that God wouldn't want a screw up like me when that is exactly why he died for us. If the relationship could only happen after we fixed things, Christ's death on the cross means absolutely nothing. It was all in vain if we could save ourselves. But we can't, and yet we keep trying; over and over and over.

    ReplyDelete