Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Thief of Our Energies...

You’re excited!
A brilliant new idea, some creative light bulb has just sparked a surge of energy and you set to work.
You eagerly go about making your mental masterpiece become a reality. Pen out the words, sketch the scene, thread the needle, mix the ingredients, snap the shot, build the structure, play the notes.
Only wait….
Something isn’t right.
You try again.
It still doesn’t sing to you.
Maybe if you just…
Grrrrr! THAT isn’t going to work.
Before long…
Scratch that!
I’m done, I give up.
It’s not PERFECT!!!
Do you ever feel like that? To be so exuberant and excited about something new, only to abandon it in utter frustration because you can’t make it turn out the way you had envisioned in your head?
Well I do that a lot. Especially recently.
My life isn’t perfect.
FAAARRRRR from it in fact. Sometimes I wish there was a restart button. I want a do-over, like in those wonderful old Nintendo games, you know? If you missed a coin in your quest for the ultimate score, or didn’t beat the clock, you got to restart and attempt your perfect run once again. Man, do I wish life was like that!
Is it just me or does it seem the more your life is imperfect, the more we seem to strive for perfection in the little things?
Take this blog for instance. Since its creation I have been frustrated with it…it doesn’t look the way I want it to, I can’t make the design do what I want, it’s not as impressive as so and so’s…and I get discouraged. What was first a source of excitement and creative energy fast became an annoyance and had me throwing hands in the air in surrender to my frustrations.
But then I stop and think.
My quest for perfection is keeping me from the real purpose of this blog….to write!
Perfectionism is a thief to your energy.
Rather than devoting my energies and precious time to writing for this blog, I found myself obsessing about the color of the texts, the width of the margins, the placement of boxes! When it comes down to it, who really cares?
I was allowing my time and my joy to be stolen by a drive to be perfect.
But you know….I never will. At least not in this life.
That’s when I hear the whisper…  “I am your perfection…I became perfection for you.”
2 Samuel 22:31- As for God his way is perfect…”
Hmmm, “the way”, now doesn’t that sound familiar?
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “ I am the way and the truth and the life.’”
Life. When you think of a perfectionist, do you think of life…full, joyful, overflowing life? Hmmm, nope, sorry, those two don’t seem to mesh in my mind.
The definition of perfect is “without defect or blemish.” Wait, I’ve heard that one before too.
1 Peter 1:18-19 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
Christ became what we could never be…perfect. That is why we have a Savior.
Mmmm, breathe that in…you don’t have to be perfect because He has become your perfection!
But just a second, there is another verse…Matthew 5:48  which says “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Didn’t I just say we don’t have to be perfect, and here I bring up this verse?!
Think of it this way. What is perfect?  “Without blemish” right? That means holy…clean…pure…like.. Jesus.
Just be like Jesus.
Just walk in His way…The Perfect Way…The Life…The Truth…the truth that sets us free. The truth is we aren’t perfect. The truth is…HE IS.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.”- Isaiah 26:3.
Peace. Not frustration. Now that IS perfect.       

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oh the Possibilities...


That is what I often feel as a writer who knows I posses the talent, ability and desire to write good words, but alas is often faced with the dilemma of WHAT to write about.  Lack of the inspiration of subject.

Give me a reason to write, an idea, a thought, and I go like the wind. But the wind that blows through my mind is here one moment and gone the next so that I cannot seem to snatch from it a singular subject for which to focus my attentions on.

Much as an artist might be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of beauty and possibility that surrounds him, I can be so overwhelmed with the vastness of possibility that I am often impaled and bound, maybe even more so than if I didn't have anything to write about at all.

Possibility is one of my greatest enemies.

It can be that way in life too….

Too many possibilities can be so crippling they make me crumble in a heap exhausted before even embarking on the journey. I picture it rather like an enormous maze: there are so many winding paths and concealed twists and turns that it nearly short circuits your mind to consider them all. Do you ever feel like that?

I am one of those people that wants to know what is down every road. Choosing one, I would follow it to end's meet simply to know that I have exhausted that one possibility, to have found the end of something, to know it fully is certainty. There is comfort in that.

Absolute freedom of endless possibilities, when it comes to creating, is rather frightening. How much more can it be when it comes to our lives?  

It makes me think….

God has given us unlimited possibilities with what we can do here on this earth. There are so many different ways that each of our stories can turn out.

Just by changing a single note in a song, you can change the feel and direction of everything to follow. If you go up, you can make the song sound bright, encouraging, uplifting, hopeful; but by going down, you take the song down to a deeper feeling, possibly sad, melancholy, or foreboding.

The possibilities are endless. Off of each road, there may be another path, which again splits. Each will hold its own challenges, rewards and heartaches.

Jeremiah 6:16- “This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”


Rest for my soul. When I begin to look at the empty canvas of my future, that tends to be the last thing that comes to mind. So what am I missing? What else did that verse say?


Sometimes it all comes back to simple principles…”be still and know that I am God”…”ask and you shall receive”….”wait upon the Lord….”.

“Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” -Isaiah 30:21.

When I read that verse, it calms my fears. Fears of what could be or what might not be. He's already been there, because He knows which way is the good way. It He leads me in good paths, doesn't it make sense to embrace the possibilities instead of fear them? 

In this world of endless and overwhelming possibilities, it is comforting to know there is One who has walked before us. On each path He knows what will be required of us and He knows which ones we are ready to explore and those which would break us and lead to harm.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Oh the possibilities….