It's true. I have a self-inflicted disease.
I put a false standard on myself that many things in my control need to be perfect. I want my throw pillows lined up in a pretty row on the couch. I want my toilet to be clean and my dishes to be washed. I want my closets organized and my grocery menu planned.
And while these desires aren’t in-and-of-themselves bad, gripping onto them for stability and assure is. When I start to seek the fulfillment of these tasks more than Christ or my other relationships, well then, Houston – we have a problem.
But God is good and he continually reminds me to not seek perfection in this world, as it is truly an impossible task. And oh so graciously, he humbles me as I learn to seek Him amidst all my faults.
This was very apparent to me as I finished knitting this wonderful little sweater for Georgia a few days ago. You see, knitting is all about perfection. Each individual stitch has a very specific place and it is quite obvious when these stitches get out of place. Unlike crocheting, when you screw up with knitting, it can be rather challenging to fix. Especially when you don’t realize it…
It’d like to think it’s my husband’s fault for distracting me, but who am I kidding – it was totally mine. As we sat entranced in a ridiculously cheesy sci-fi television thriller, apparently, I lost track… and instead of continuing on as I should have, I picked up my needles the wrong way and began knitting back over the line of stitches I had just completed. Instead of going left to right, I went left to right, then left to right the other way, then left to right the other way again.
The most unfortunate part was I didn’t realize it until, like, fifteen rows later. And if you think I’m one of those woman who would pull ‘em all out to make sure it was perfect (we’re talking about two hours work here people!), well then you’re crazy. There was no way I was about to pull all those stitches out.
My first reaction was to cry. I’d been trying so hard to follow this pattern carefully. I’d been so careful to not drop any stitches and to count appropriately. I was being so careful! Yet, as fate would have it, I failed. Miserably.
But isn’t that just the way the Lord would have it? My life, my family, my home, and my faith aren’t about the perfection I cannot obtain. And if I continue to seek this perfection, there is no doubt that I will surely fail, time and time again.
Because I’m not perfect, you see.
My knitting projects aren’t perfect, my house isn’t perfect – at the moment there is a giant stain on the carpet from Lord knows what, a sink full of dirty dishes, a crooked homemade sweater, a stack of bills to pay, and some serious funk growin' on a few things in the refrigerator. And it's taken time, and tears, and failure to make me realize that's okay.