Perfection avoided

Have you ever noticed easily some instances of the Perfect are shattered? Since it’s already January second, it’s already too late for me to have a record of blogging everyday of the year. I can blog for the next 365 consecutive days, but since I didn’t blog yesterday, it’s impossible for me to blog every day.

Several years ago Cal Ripken beat Lou Gehrig for consecutive games played. That was a tough record to beat. Playing that many consecutive games requires sustained health, enough ability that the manager would want to play you, a desire to keep playing through thick and thin. Most players just don’t make it. All Ripken had to do to end his pursuit of the record was miss a game. A single game would do it, would make his quest for naught.

From another angle, Ripken’s record isn’t all that stupendous. Sure, it’ll be hard to break, but it is breakable. Another player can exercise the same desire and stamina. And how many World Series did Ripken bring to Baltimore during his run? Another record, one that won’t be broken (unless the game is redefined) is Cy Young’s 511 victories. Now the really good guys rack up 300 in a career. 500? I just don’t see it. But his record isn’t perfect. Not only does he have the record for wins. He also has the record for losses.

What kind of perfection are we looking for – if we are? I’d suggest that we aim for something that takes the best of Ripken & Young. From Ripken, we take the stamina, the ability to keep going, even when each day is essentially the same. Staying faithful without the glitz and glory is a good thing. From Young, we take the ability not just to win, but to get up and play again after losing. Younger never seems to have thought that yesterday’s loss was a harbinger of a loss today. Even though he had failed, he still thought winning was possible.

Chances are that we’ll fail God. We’ll mess up. We’ll fall short. Oh, maybe it won’t be the big notorious sin, the sin that torpedoes our life. Maybe it’ll just be a case of chickening out, of avoiding an opportunity God has sent out way. Oops. Not perfect. So why even try? But when we see the bigger picture of who God is and what he’s up to in Jesus, it’s always worth our while to get up and try again, to aim again for faithfulness.

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