Thursday, October 12, 2006

Just Call It God

Chambers' words are for me today:

The test of a man's religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on.

Here are some words I don't believe you will ever hear God say: "Let's just call it good." I remember my own father saying those words to me at various times throughout my youth, when I was drowning in sleepless tears over some insignificant school project that I couldn't get just right. Sometimes those words would be accompanied by a fatherly lecture on how I majored in the minors and minored in the majors (Jamey will chuckle at this, though I doubt she ever got that particular lecture). But I have yet to hear God say, "Let's call it good." God, unlike me, is not a perfectionist. He is perfection.

The tricky thing about perfectionism is, it is more often than not a futile attempt to please an impossible audience (everyone), or an attempt (also futile over time) to hide the imperfect self you can't face behind a perfect exterior. God's not interested in either, thank goodness. Everything He does is perfect by the nature of who He is. He can't be less than perfect. He can't try to be more perfect. He will never say, "Good enough. I give up. I'm done here." I think that I have actually asked Him to say that a few times. When each baby step up the impossibly steep mountain seemed too painful. When we would pass by a little green stream and I decided it would be a good idea to just make ourselves a home there and not go on. Nope. Despite my pleadings to the contrary, He keeps on making me press on, hold out, look up...for His very best. We're the children of a perfect God. Unless we demand our own good enough way, He will keep shaping, pinching, stretching...Excuse me for mixing my metaphors. But you catch my drift. I'm off to my women's study. God is good. Chambers is not bad either:

Getting into the stride of God means nothing less than union with Himself. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don't give in because the pain is bad just now, get on with it, and before long you will find you have a new vision and a new purpose.


  1. Good stuff. What you said about dragging oneself up the "impossibly steep mountain" reminds me of Hannah Hurnard's book Hind's Feet on High Places.

  2. justin, the newNewYorkerOctober 14, 2006 at 2:10 AM

    thank you for your amazing words. my life has been soo devoid of this as of late.