Monday, November 7, 2011

Progress, not perfection

This is probably the best one-liner I've heard so far. I have no doubt that this is only because I strive for perfection and in doing so, fall flat on my face and decide to be completely defeated. Over the last few days, I'm learning to take baby steps. The concept appears to be so simple. One thing at a time, one day at a time sweet Jesus. Amazingly, it really works. Instead of being defeated because I can't do every little thing perfectly, I just do the next thing. One of my fellow AA'ers said it this way, "just do the next right thing". It really all boils down to patience. Patience with yourself, with others, with circumstances, with God.

Patience still eludes me but I'm catching up to it. I still find myself wanting it all RIGHT NOW! I don't want to have to climb out of my pit, I just want to be out. I don't want to have to do TWELVE steps...I just want freedom and sobriety to magically be there. I want to be lighter and healthier in my body, I just don't want to have to do all the work that is going to take to achieve it. I want my house and farm all buttoned up and neat...Lord knows the effort that is going to take. When I find myself consumed with this way of thinking, I simply say a small prayer, ask God for help and turn my eyes to what the next right thing is. Sometimes the right thing to do is crystal clear, sometimes it isn't. There are things I know for sure that I'm not supposed to do, things I know I need to be doing, and then, there are those things that baffle me. Even in the instances when I'm perplexed, I still look heavenward for the answers and am quietly reminded...progress, not perfection. There is liberation in knowing I don't have to know everything. God is sweetly delivering me, one moment at a time, from feeling like I am responsible for everything and everybody.

The curiousness of all this is, while I'm letting go of perfection and just focusing on progress, amazing things are happening. I'm actually getting stuff done and being productive. Who knew such a simple concept could be so life-changing? I'm overwhelmed at times when I look around with sober eyes and see all that fell victim to an alcoholic housekeeper. All those neglected places. All the belongings and cherished family heirlooms that were left unloved. Every nook and cranny that once brought me great joy to clean... disregarded. The yard and garden all but forsaken. I want to weep for all the years that I neglected. The only thing I can do now believe the promise that Jesus made and that is... an abundant life. There are steps ahead of me that will require me to do a searching inventory of myself and my past and I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I am making progress. Perfection will not come in this lifetime, only freedom from guilt and freedom from trying to be perfect. My perfection will come the moment I see the face of Jesus. This life is only to live and love and maybe even learn a little.

God is good to me. I'm reminded of this in every little facet of my life, even the ones that are flawed. My heart is opening up to a freedom I didn't know existed and, I am blessed.

1 comment:

  1. I read yesterday on Ann Voskamp's blog, "He doesn't want perfection, he wants praise". It was a nice reminder.