On my way out of Barnes and Nobles today, from the corner of my eye I noticed The Right Prayers for Every Need.
I’m sure it is probably a good book, helpful to many as reflected in on-line reviews, yet, the title made me a bit sick.
The RIGHT prayers. I’m sure it isn’t meant as meaning “not wrong”, yet my brain headed that way.
Last week I overheard in a coffee shop, a woman tell another how she doesn’t go to church anymore because the guys that sat in the pews were the same ones that had pinched her the night before at the bar.
On Sunday, I hosted an Author Talk with Addie Zierman, whose new book talks about feeling alienated and even being abused by a culture that puts perfection over faith (even if unintentionally).
Then there is the recurring theme of moms (myself and many others I know), who are conflicted in so many ways…overwhelmed by juggling jobs, volunteer work, kids, husbands and our own dreams.
All this as I’m in the midst of preparing a talk on denying and embracing the Holy Spirit for a group of Stephen Ministers.
So, seeing a book with right prayers in the title didn’t sit well.
Why can’t we just get over that we aren’t supposed to be perfect?!? Why can’t we just understand that God love us because and despite us being a work in progress?
Like the home remodel shows, our lives are lived in the time between the “before” and “after” pictures are taken.
Even with the best intentions, our neurons and hormones or something else may be out of sync, rendering us incapable of perfection. But even with that…we are not stones.
We are not lifeless things that do not move or interact or breathe. We do not (or should not) accept everything at face value, put others between us and God, or wander the earth as automatons.
God gave us life, not to be perfect, but to be us. To seek a relationship with the God-self.
Somehow, we have to separate the idea of being a Good Christian with the idea of being perfect. Perfection has absolutely nothing to do it. Perfection is an idol, something that gets between us and God.
But it is not easy, as on the other side is the trap of trying to perfectly be a non-perfect Christian.
Thankfully there is Grace…and another day.
Lord, help us to seek You through who You created us as, not who we imagine we should or need to be. Help us to stop wasting our energy on being perfect, and spend that time doing something much more worthy. Amen.
- Lifting the Fog (smallestofseeds.wordpress.com)
- A Memoir for Disillusioned Christians: Addie Zierman’s When We Were on Fire (lindseygendke.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: When We Were On Fire (ibelonginabook.wordpress.com)
- Trevor Hogg – Masked; Justified (badgercrustories.wordpress.com)