Thursday, February 16, 2012

Perfect versus Good

It's taken me nearly 4 months to start this blog because I wanted it to be perfect.  Oh sure, I've had brilliant conversations with myself while ferrying our children around in the minivan, but would said brilliance hold up in the cold light of a blog?  And why add one more blog to the thousands that are out there?  Face it, there are plenty of reading, thinking, house decorating, crafty, witty moms out there, who write excellent blogs.  Do I need to add my two cents?

And yet ... for over 20 years I have thought of myself as a writer.  This is probably because several teachers told me that I had some talent for writing.  I certainly have no writing to show for it, and sadly, this is because of fear. Fear that it will not be perfect. . Fear that the image I have of myself is in fact wrong.  A comment one teacher made still echoes in my mind 20 years later.  "You have such talent, and you're so afraid to use it."  I don't know if she's right about the talent but I'm not starting another decade without making an attempt to find out.

I'm guessing I'm not the only person who finds that the perfect is so often the enemy of the good.  Last Sunday the sermon was about the parable of the talents.  The man who received one talent buried it in the earth, where it would be safe.  He was afraid to risk it, and lose what talent he had.  Meanwhile, those who received five and two talents invested them, and earned more.  When the master came back, he rebuked the man who had buried the talent, and instructed him to give his talent to the man who had five.  Because of his fear, he lost everything.

It's a hard story to read.  It doesn't seem fair.  After all, he didn't lose his talent in a bad investment.  He simply kept it safe.  What was so wrong with that?  The truth is, that when we try to hold onto the gifts or talents we have, for fear that we'll mess up or that we'll make a mistake, we lose the opportunity to use them to bless others, however imperfectly.  Sometimes we don't get it right.   It's okay.  The important thing is to try, to make the attempt, to live in hope, not in fear.

So that's what I'm attempting to do.  Even as I write this post I'm criticizing it - "How does it sound? Too self-absorbed?  Did anyone actually read to the end?"  Enough!  This is my life, and I'm going to write about the journey as I see it.  For a firstborn perfectionist, that's a start.


  1. I read to the end, and I want to go on record as not only enjoying your writing, but also applauding your courage. Keep posting - I think your investment will benefit all of us.

  2. I read it all the way to the end! Now you've given me yet another blog to keep up with. ;)