Do you remember ever playing the ever popular camp game of tug of war? The winners got the glory, the losers got the mud.
If you were smart, you sized up the contestants and picked the stronger looking team to be on. However, most of the time, you didn’t get a choice. You were just assigned. Their fate was now your fate – for better or worse.
I was never very physically strong, so I wasn’t likely to bring much to the table in a game like this. But I do have a stubborn streak, and can pick a mean tug of war fight with my attitude.
Unfortunately, I was pretty good in this area as I had much practice.
But, it’s not such a great trait. It’s called look-down-my-nose-itis. A legalist. A perfectionist. Intolerant for less than.
At least until life hit me hard.
The people that I judged because they could never get anywhere on time? I became one of them.
The people who just couldn’t seem to get it all together? Me.
The unorganized, disaster zone house lifestyle? Um, yeah.
So what happened? I played tug of war with God.
As many times as I ended in the mud, I got right back up and challenged Him again. Some people are slow learners.
I used to jokingly use the verse “be ye perfect as your father in heaven” as my mantra. That’s a joke – as if I could come close.
It has only taken the last 50 years of my life to embrace the fact that I will never, ever, ever, or ever be “perfect” as in faultless or having everything completely together all the time. Like I said, I’m slow.
But, I can grow in “perfect” meaning mature, lacking in nothing spiritually. I still have an abysmally long way to go, but I am making progress.
And there is something so freeing about letting go of the first meaning. Knowing that I don’t have to have it all together takes all the pressure off of my expectations of myself.
In addition, it allows me to have so much more understanding for others. My once judgmental heart has now become one of compassion and grace. By simply learning to let unrealistic expectations go.
Interestingly, once I stopped playing tug of war with God, I quit ending up in the mud too. I think I’m getting a clue.