Wow, what a week! Through His ministry to people, I was honored to share in many truths the Lord revealed to those folks in the last ten days. Allow me to share some of them, please.
1. Excellence and the desire to do whatever we do to the glory of God is commendable; however, perfectionism creates barriers and makes for a lonely journey. It is very hard to be friends with a perfectionist. One reason is they are almost oblivious (even resentful) of the people around them because they are intensely focused on what they are doing, striving to be flawless. They might also have a tendency toward pride (after all, their projects are usually much better than the others). And finally, they sometimes impose their perfectionistic requirements on others. So what a perfectionist usually experiences is people commenting on the amazing quality of the perfectionist’s work….while on their way out to play and enjoy friends (which a perfectionist rarely has time for).
This week Jesus revealed the importance of being aware of and valuing community; and how perfectionism can create barriers to it.
2. Abandonment is traumatic. A father who disappears early in a child’s life; the wife who walks away from her husband and children to be with another man; a rebellious son who rejects and disowns the love of his parents; these (and many more examples) of abandonment always leave emotional scars.
This week Jesus revealed that you can abandon someone while still being physically present….and that, too, always leaves emotional scars.
3. Very often when recalling painful events in their lives, people will ask, “Where was Jesus when this was happening?” I don’t back down from that question but rather always insist on redirecting it back to Jesus. “Jesus, Jim is remembering this important but painful time in his life and is wondering where You were. Jesus, is there anything you would want to reveal to Jim about his question, ‘Where was Jesus when this was happening?'” Sometimes, having asked the Lord this question, the person disappointedly reports that they don’t see evidence of Jesus anywhere in that memory and conclude (usually sadly) that Jesus was not involved.
This week Jesus revealed that He often “shows up” in the people He puts in our lives in those moments: perhaps it is the relative who we totally forgot was there that day, the one who was kind and comforting; or maybe it is the teacher who gently reminds us that the art project we are working so diligently to make perfect can actually be completed at home and encourages us to go outside and enjoy recess with our friends. Jesus often shows up in our lives; He just happens to look like my cousin or my teacher somedays.
4. Finally, Jesus more reminded than revealed that we often walk away from what is most valuable because our hands are full of pretty good things.
Yup, it was a good week to walk with Jesus!