Dear Perfection...


August 10, 2018

It’s early in the morning and sleep escapes me. It feels wrong to rise before the sun and yet, I submit. Walking to the kitchen I notice the glow of a lamp in my sacred space. It’s an invitation to step away.

I accept.

Settling in comfy chair, my mind floats…back to a quarrel between the girls in the car yesterday…ahead to the responsibilities of the day…next to our first child in the process of moving out…on to unfinished chores…Which of these is causing a disruption in my sleep?  I feel the Lord nudge me back from the world of my thoughts and towards His thoughts for me.

Ah yes, I remember and gently make myself present to the One who is always present to me.

It’s hard for me to commit, I am learning this about myself. This might not be something that is readily apparent to others, but in the stillness, He shows me. I like things to be perfect…so I work them and re-work them. It’s difficult for me to finish…to walk away…to put a period at the end of the sentence…to commit to finality. And so, I live in the in-between.

Dear Perfection,

I love you. I love the way you stare back at me filling me up with satisfaction at the end of a project. I love the way you communicate so clearly and concisely. I love your job well done. Although you are a very hard worker, I have to be honest with you…I know your secret.

See, I have noticed that I am never really sure if I’ve achieved what you want so I can’t commit. It turns out that we aren’t such a good match because although I thought we were comrades, working side by side, I now know that you steal from me and we aren’t so mutual after all. You have blatantly taken so much: parts of my day, parts of my thoughts, parts of my confidence, most of my rest and too much attention…this is just a start to the list. Even when the task at hand has reached a “sweet spot of perfection”, I am left with a gaping hole of uncertainty.

I now know the truth, you’re a bully. You tease and taunt and promise- all with the illusion of satisfaction, but in reality, it’s a mere effort to control. It’s taken me 42 years, but I’ve learned your trick. I don’t have room for you anymore on my staff. This is your official termination notice, effective immediately.

Your Boss

Jesus reminds me that I am in “process” and He’s not in a hurry. As I take the time to be still I can feel His warming smile within and sense His joy in the process. It is the very process I attempt to evade, but He loves to watch me learn and form and grow. Unconsciously I argue the why’s.

Why I need to figure out how to help the girls nurture their relationship.

Why it’s healthy to journal my feelings about life changing events.

Why I need to finish cleaning out the garage…but as quickly as I list the “why’s’’ he lists the “why nots.”

You’re working so hard for what has already been provided.

What you want is peace-trust me in this process and you will find peace.

You want closure, but not everything can be complete.

You are searching hard for something that you will not find where you are looking.

You’re so tired you’re awake. How is that for irony?

The stillness you want will come when you can stay with me IN THE PROCESS.

This is about being present to NOW. Always now. My hands are large enough to hold the rest.

I read it again and again and I ponder it…

So today and every day the invitation for me is:

to trust that He is at work and will help me handle anything.

to notice when I am starting “the hustle” on my own.

to hand Him my hustle and in exchange hold His hand.

I pick up a small heart icon to put in my pocket to help me remember.  It will serve as a reminder to trust him with the process throughout the day.

As I walk out of my sacred space, a pile of books on the table catch my eye. I can’t help but laugh to myself because trapped beneath “Raising Your Spirited Child” and “Parenting Teens with Love and Logic” is “Mornings with Thomas Merton”. This stack of books is a symbol of how I walked into this sacred space this morning…it's more doing than being.

As I close the door behind me I touch the heart in my pocket, I’m gonna need some help with this one, Jesus, I hope you’re on your A-game…

I sense a smile in his patient response, “I always am Child”.

Kim Moraghan graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary with a master's degree in Clinical Pastoral Counseling, serves as the Director of the Certificate Program in Formational Prayer, works as a licensed clinical counselor and has a ministry in formational prayer.

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