As I redid the formatting on Ransomed again, and ordered what had better be THE LAST proof copy, I got thinking about perfection. If you looked at my room, you wouldn't think I was a perfectionist...*cough* but if you talked to my cover designer (guess who), you'd probably realize I was. (Can you change the color? The words? The entire back? The color again? Actually I liked it the other way better. The woman is an angel.) There are reasons a book I was going to have published by Christmas 2012 has just now reached its final form. :P
But what is perfection? A while ago I was complaining about being a perfectionist (or about not being perfect...), and someone said something that stopped me in my tracks.
There are five man-made things in heaven. The holes placed in a perfect man named Jesus Christ. He was, HE IS PERFECT, and yet He is scarred for our transgressions and imperfections.
And I went o.O When we think perfect, we think without pain, without blemish, cannot be improved upon in any way…The Merriam-Webster dictionary says:
"being entirely without fault or defect (flawless), satisfying all requirements (accurate), lacing in no essential detail (complete)"
The person I was talking to went on to quote/say
He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man...so that He could redeem them from destruction of their souls, but He did not save the world from heartbreak or destruction. He was...perfect. He is perfect and yet...broken and bruised.
When I want perfect, I want the past erased, I want nothing wrong to have ever happened, I want there to be no possible better thing. But look at the Definition of Perfection as shown by God Himself - scarred and called the Man of Sorrows. He is perfect, and yet bears our imperfections...so that we can bear His perfection.
Which brings me back to one of my favorite verses.
and you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight
Last year I wrote this and I don't want to repeat what I learned then - it has helped a lot this past year. But I'm realizing again that my very idea of perfection may be skewed. It's not just that He is making me perfect...it's that I have a wrong idea of what perfect is.
Which reminds me of a little thing I saw on pinterest or something that I love:
I don't know where I've even gotten some of my ideas of perfection...I mean, I have a decent GPA, my calc professor hired me to correct homework (she told my mom I was one of the best students in her class), and some classes that were called "really hard" I thought were ridiculously easy. And yet I look back and see my other classes. The ones where I flunked a test, where learned less than half of what I should have learned, or where a professor generously upped my grade because of the amount of time I had spent in his/her office. All of which means I'm a bad student!
And yet I took the MCAT after 3 months scattered studying (more like 1 month of studying; it was a crazy summer) and 'broke 30' the first time I took it, I interviewed at one school and was accepted a year early, without even having a 4-year degree.
But...if I don't have a 4.0 GPA and find myself on the dean's list every semester...I a terrible student. If I don't get the 36 I wanted on my MCAT, I'm going to be an awful doctor. If everyone at my volunteer job doesn't love me to pieces, I'm a horrible volunteer. If I don't know every detail of everything going on in my siblings' lives, I'm the worst big sister ever. If my book has a single mistake in it, I'm an embarrassment of an author. And on and on and on.
And then I go Wait. Why did I not have 4.0 GPA? Is part of the reason because my younger siblings spent half their days in my room while I was studying? Because there were people I needed to listen to on days before tests? Other students who asked me to help them study? Is that "perfect" GPA the thing I most wanted, or would I rather have other memories, of people who told me I made their day, of siblings who still come excitedly to tell me what new thing they've learned, etc? (And on the flip-side, is sibling-listener the only thing I am called to be? Or is God directing me to do something else with my life as well?)
What is perfect? Am I allowing God to order my days and give me His perfect schedule for me? Or am I throwing myself against a glass I'll never break because what I think is perfect and the perfect He wants are two different things?
No, Christ's scars are not because of His own stupidity or laziness or whatever else is my reason for failing at what I'm trying to do...but He is scarred, and He is perfect.
He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief...And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.
Who is defining "perfect" for me?