Thursday, December 2, 2010

On the Ugly Head

In my house, lately, there has been a lot of talk about. . . .well, a lot of things. 

Most of them serious.  A couple of them funny.  And there's one theme we keep coming back to over and over again.

We don't know what in the *world* we're doing.

Who was the humorist who said something like, "I used to have no children and plenty of theories of parenting; now I have plenty of children and NO theories of parenting!"?  OK, so we're not quite there yet, but as we enter this new, interesting, challenging season of life . . . with job searches and college decisions and general parenting issues. . . . .

. . . we don't know what in the *world* we're doing.  (Editor's note: I usually have a pronoun problem.  You know, attributing things to sweet hubby when it's really just my issue at hand?  But this time - I think I can safely say it's a 'WE' issue.)

But there's this Ugly Head that keeps rearing itself - the Ugly Head of Perfection.

You know,  'cuz we're Christians and all, we have to have it All. Together.  
Know what direction our family is going in, set our goals, check 'em off once reached.  Never question God or ourselves, but walking confidently through life towards Victory, always upwards and onwards, straight paths ever higher and on into glory.

But the truth is - life. is. messy.

Really messy.

And most of the time - especially lately -  we struggle to know the right thing to do.  We can't act confident, or as if we have our acts together.  Because - we don't.

We'd rather cry out with the Psalmist:
  Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
   Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face?
   Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
   our belly clings to the ground.
Rise up; come to our help!
   Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love! (Psalm 44: 23-26)
 And - interestingly enough - we've had enough conversations with friends lately that have made us realize that the Ugly Head of Perfection needs to be soundly beaten back from our midst.  Enough conversations where the other party expresses with wonder, "You too?" and there is a fellowship in the pain and confusion, a sweet embrace of the reality that says yes, we are hurting and yes, we are broken, but God - He is sufficient.

We do no service to walk in the pride of our flesh, setting ourselves up as those who have all the answers, who are living lives free of questioning and struggle and pain.  We do no service to our Savior to pretend that we can program our lives onwards and upwards, with ever-increasing victory call, when the truth is that we need His grace to even take the very next tiny baby step.

We do no service to those around us, when our desire to appear "perfect" stems from pride, deadly pride, and would point those nearest to us away from Christ, and onto out poor, sinful souls.

So if you catch me raising the Ugly Head of Perfection -

Would you help me beat it back?

I think we'll both be better for it.


Elizabeth said...

Wow, Mrs. Henriques... thank you SO much for posting this. I really needed it today. Good to know I'm not the only one. ;) Interestingly enough, I was just listening to "God Is God" by Steven Curtis Chapman as I read this.. it's amazing how perfectly they fit together. And it's pretty amazing how God lays little things like this in my lap exactly when I need them. Thanks again! You're such an encouragement. :)

M. Ann said...

Only if you reciprocate!