I consider myself to be a healthy mix of Martha Stewart, the Boy Scouts and MacGyver. I am pretty stinkin’ organized, am usually pretty well prepared, and I can improvise really well. But then there are times when I show my true human nature. Take this recent example as evidence enough.
My teenage son was signed up for a camp in Wyoming. I had it on the calendar for a couple of months, and even had the brochure on my nightstand (admittedly under a bunch of junk). I had been in contact with the group administrator all week about the last payment, forms, and who he was traveling with. So when I got a Saturday afternoon call asking if we were on our way, I was confused.
On our way where? Was there a pre-camp meeting I forgot about? Why would they be calling us about something as simple as a meeting? That’s when it hit me. I had the wrong dates for camp on our calendar this whole time. They were leaving now. Like RIGHT NOW.
Calmly and collectively, I told the young-voiced youth pastor we’d meet them in 40 minutes. 20 minutes to pack, 20 minutes to drive.
Now, you’ve got to understand, this is no normal camp. They were to be at the literal edge of Yellowstone, sleeping in full-size tepees. He needed to be prepared for mountain hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting.
In 20 minutes.
I raced through the house carrying my laptop with the list I’d received in my email box, frantically looking for clean clothes for my teenage son who is allergic to doing laundry. In my panic, I tripped on the stairs and sent my laptop flying. Crash, Bang, Boom. Laptop’s dead. I was quick to find the other laptop, log in to my email, download the list, and try this again. Within 40 minutes of the frantic call, he was on the road to Wyoming.
The best part? I am now 100% visible as the human I am.
I’m not perfect. I never will be.
I may have traits that make me appear to have it all together at times (although those traits seem to be disappearing as fast as my pre-children figure), but let no man be fooled; Superwoman I am not.
This is good news for my children. Say what? Yes. Good news. You see, I am just proof that no matter how hard humanity strives to achieve it, perfection is unattainable.
This is important. The moment we start to believe that we have the ability to overcome sin, human error, or even consequence, we take away from the remarkable life and actions of Jesus.
If we could achieve perfection, then what was the point of Jesus?
If I could somehow follow all the rules, play the game of life just right, and avoid all human contact so as to not get annoyed, why’d he even bother coming here in the first place? There’s a reason Jesus came to this planet in the form of a living, breathing human being. It’s stinkin’ hard to be a person.
Now imagine what he had to overcome, and yet somehow he still remained perfect and sinless.
He grew up Jewish. I mean, was there any other religion with more rules? He lived in a small town. Gossip and pettiness anyone? He had younger siblings. No explanation needed. He grew up doing construction. Um, construction sites are not known for their moral purity. And the list could go on.
My point is this; God doesn’t expect us to ever achieve perfection. It’s not humanly possible. But this culture we live in still somehow expects that Christians are to be perfect.
Perfect image. Perfect behavior. Perfect choices. Perfect lifestyle. Perfect family. Perfect children. Perfect career. Perfect lives.
It’s just plain stupid.
I want my kids to know upfront that perfection is not possible. And not only that, but that it’s dangerous to even attempt it. We were not made to be Jesus, but to lead people to Him.
And if it’s my imperfection that does that, so be it.