In a sci-fi movie I saw several years ago, there is a team of scientists in pursuit of an alien race. After arriving at the planet, they believe to be the home of these aliens, they begin to scan the planet for signs of life. One of the archeologists then tells the captain to set the ship down in a specific spot because he sees a straight line in the dirt, and “God does not build in straight lines.”
I’ve carried this idea around in my head for years. It’s often been a phrase I share with people to give them comfort about something not going right or in the midst of chaos. That being said, I’ve never adopted this phrase for myself, or really, I’ve just never believed in that phrase for myself.
I often find myself pursuing perfection – and foolishly, I always think it’s attainable.
You may be asking yourself, “but isn’t the pursuit of perfection okay?” My response would be that I think it’s not how you pursue it that matters, but WHO you pursue. When Jesus was on earth some 2,000 years ago, he came to a people who were in an endless pursuit of perfection. Rules and sacrifices had been perfected. The Sabbath was endlessly being perfected. Today we as the church continue to prescribe lists to achieve perfection, but this method is not what Jesus calls us to.
His call today is the same as it was two millennia ago, “come and follow Me.” He didn’t say follow these set of rules, or here’s how you are to really observe the Sabbath. In order to be made right with God, Jesus simply asked us to follow Him. We may think we have to “do” but Jesus just asks us to “be.” To be present not only with Him but present within the community of God. If Christ is perfect, and Christ is in us, then we are perfect because Christ is perfect.
I take comfort in what Paul wrote in his second letter to the church in Corinth:
“’My (Gods) 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.”
My prayer is that we might live our lives in pursuit of perfection in curves and waves, in ups and downs, in the journey called life, with our church family, and most importantly in Christ Jesus.