"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In Defense of Good Enough


I grew up believing that as long as I tried my absolute best, it would be good enough. It would be more than good enough, it would be great. Why? Because of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Yes, it’s my life verse. Again I tell you, It’s my crutch that I lean upon.

“Always do your best as if working for the Lord,” my mom would say, and I usually did.

Ah, but now that I am a single mother of three (and have been for more years than I care to admit), 21 and 20 year old daughters, and a 17½ year old son, I realize that my best is not good enough.
God’s best is though.
2 Corinthians 12:10 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
 Oh yeah.
In my day to day grind, I kinda forget that verse.
I kinda think I need to be perfect. But then, why would I even need Christ? I wouldn’t. Thus. Imperfection. Total imperfection.
 Is totally good and OK.

I am weak. Everyone knows. I am weak. I may appear strong.
But. Really, I'm weak. Why?
Because I am human. I'm insufficient. I'm imperfect.
Thus.....I need God. To make me sufficient.
To make my works sufficient.
To give me strength.
To make my good, good enough.
To just be.....

I am called to be a mom. Not a perfect one, thank God! Again, if I were perfect, whatever that is, I wouldn’t need the Lord, and I totally, unequivocally, do. I am called to raise godly children, who will live for the Lord
even die for the Lord, if need be.
To raise children that walk in the Truth.
Not to raise politically correct children.
 Not to raise polite, open minded, fair children.

Is God polite?
He’s a gentleman.
That’s why He would never force Himself onto any of His creation. He offers mercy, forgiveness and grace to those who accept Him. Not to those who don’t.
He doesn’t criticize and only wants the best for each and every one of us.

Having said that, polite and open minded, although almost always good qualities are very different. It’s that ‘almost’ that makes the difference.
Politeness doesn’t stand a chance when someone is bullying another.
 When someone decides to stomp on the American flag.
Stomp on the Bible—no more politeness there, either.
When someone sets out to kill a defenseless baby. No, mamma bear may rear her ugly teeth and be oh, so not polite.
But that just may be OK.
In certain circumstances.

And….Open mindedness implies there are no absolutes.
No black and whites.
 Unlimited rights.
Nope again.
There ARE moral absolutes.
 Biblical standards.
No compromises.
Abortion is wrong.
Scientifically and morally.
Stealing is wrong.
 Period. Idolatry. Wrong again. Misrepresentation. You got it. Wrong.
As are many, many more. Hmmmm.

Is God open minded?
Absolutely not!
The Ten Commandments are not suggestions. They are commands. He doesn’t say it’s OK to be adulterous if you love someone other than your spouse.
He doesn’t say we can love our spouse or children more than Him. Why? Because He’s God, and He won’t.
He has moral absolutes that He expects us to follow?


           Fairness, on the other hand, seems pretty straight forward. It isn’t though.
Life is not always about fairness.
And it shouldn’t be either.
Is God fair? 
Absolutely not!
He unfairly bore our guilt and shame on the cross so that we could live in eternity with Him. It doesn’t appear to be fair to allow murderers and adulterers into heaven, and yet let the church attender, mission worker go to hell.
But again…there is always a back story.
 If the murderers and adulterers repented and accepted Jesus into their hearts prior to their earthly death, then voila, we will meet in heaven. And….if the church attender, mission worker had not asked Jesus in his/her life, then she/he would be heading to hell. Hmmmm.
Doesn’t seem fair, but then again,
God is not necessarily a fair God.
Until we, as humans, recognize our depravity, nothing will seem fair.
Let’s face it, life is not always fair.

 When my son recently totaled his car because he fell asleep while driving, fairness would imply that I would take away his driving privileges and not help him purchase another vehicle. Why? Because that’s what most parents would do, including myself. That’s what I would probably do if it had happened to one of his more than social sisters. That is, unless I knew the entire story. Had he been texting while driving, talking on his cell phone, or even fooling around with a bunch of kids while driving. Well, then. No driving privileges. And who needs a vehicle if they won’t be driving around?

Jonathan in the ER
Well, there’s a back story.
There almost always is.
 He had been arising early all week for school, then staying after school 2-3 hours for track practice, coming home and studying a few more hours, and hitting his pillow after midnight for the entire week. He was up excessively late studying the night before—a Friday night. What 17½ year old boy stays up late on a Friday night to do homework that isn’t due until the following week? My boy does. He knew he would be arising early on Saturday to attend a distant school track meet, competing all day and returning home late, just to arise for church on Sunday morning, and then youth group on Sunday evening.
Yes, that’s my boy.
 I am so very proud of him.

Jonathan and Joy joking around in the ER
So…..he fell asleep while driving home from his track meet. No, his high school does not provide transportation for track events. Football. Yes. Track. No. Anyway, I digress. He hit a pole going 58 mph. WOW! Miracles upon miracles, he walked away from the scene; although he looked a bloody mess, he really only suffered superficial facial cuts from the windshield shattering. No broken bones. No bruises. No sprains. We knew he was lucky to be alive.
We have all considered this to be a wake up lesson.
NO driving while exhausted.
Originally for Jonathan, but sold to Joy's boyfriend.
 Jon ended up with Joy's boyfriend's car

So, although it may have appeared to be fair to punish him, I didn’t. No, I actually helped him find another vehicle, and we rolled with the punches (and comments).
I remember when my children were little and my son would defy me until the cows would come home. Cajoling and reasoning, counting to three, did NOT work with him. Only spanking. Period. It definitely hurt me more than it hurt him. My eldest daughter, on the other hand, only required an, “I’m disappointed in you” glance, and then obedience became her middle name. Apologies to follow shortly thereafter. The same with my middle daughter. So…..if my son wouldn’t obey, he occasionally needed a spanking. My girls, not so much. Usually, a short term grounding or look of disapproval was all that it took to correct them. So, fairness is not always what it may seem to be.

Back to my attempts at being perfect.
My absolute best that doesn’t appear to be good enough.
My failures.
My complete
Am I always polite?
Do I realize that I need to be open minded on some things?
Do I recognize when there is a need for fairness and when their isn’t? I hope I do.

Have I raised children who love the Lord?
 Do I belong in a family that has been forgiven, by mercy and grace?
Oh yeah.
Thus, I guess, when push comes to shove, my best IS good enough.
Through Christ.
And only through Him.

So many think that because I am single, I must have tons of time on my hands. Time to help them with all of their projects that their spouse doesn’t help them with. Hmmmm. Where they would ever get that idea is beyond me. I mean, there’s only me. One. To do the work of two or more. My home alone takes 90% of my time. Uggh. In fact, a plumber is coming by today because my kitchen sink hasn’t worked properly since March, 2010. Hopefully, after tonight, it may just work.
When the garden is still waiting to be planted. I need to remember...
It’s good enough.
When my windows haven’t been washed in a year.
It’s good enough.
 When I reheat leftovers from the night before.
 It’s good enough.
When I have to work and miss some sporting events.
It’s good enough.
When I’m tired and just want to lay around and watch movies with the kids.
It’s good enough.
When I don’t get out and walk the park every day.
 It’s good enough.
 And yes, even when I’m impolite, unfair and close minded (and repentant, I may add),
It’s good enough.

Now, that it’s summer, and outdoor work is constantly calling my name, I realize that I am enough. I don’t have to have a perfect yard. That’s a relief, because it’s not going to be. I don’t have to walk the dogs EVERY day.
 I don’t have to do all of the things that I wanted to do this summer, to be enough.
 It is what it is.
  And….I am what I am.
 Daughter of Christ.
Set Free.
Living and depending on Romans 8:28 and 2Corinthians 12:10.

I hope that as you read this, you are reminded that you are not only enough...
You are more than enough.
With Christ, that is.

PS. I am always kind though. Just saying.

No comments:

Post a Comment