Imperfection is the only true perfection

2006-02-06 at 15:40 (musings)

… because “perfection” is a myth. It’s just like the number infinity. Do you remember when you were younger and you’d say “no” to what someone else had said, they’d say “yes” and you’d say “no”, they’d say “yes”, you’d say “no times two”, they’d say “yes times ten”, you’d say “no times a hundred”, they’d say “yes times infinity”, you’d say “no times infinity plus one”, and they (because they were an annoyingly smart kid) would say “you can’t have that, infinity is the biggest number ever”, and you’d be stuck and you’d go off an have a tantrum?

Okay, maybe that never happened to you. (If it did, I apologise if the smart kid was me.)

Anyway, infinity is one of those things that we just can’t reach. I believe the formal definition of it is “the sum of all numbers above 0”, or something along those lines — so it’s defined as something greater than anything we can describe any other way. It’s imaginary. Perfection is just like that.

Perfection can never be reality, because life is compromise. To get anything done, we must evalute and choose what to do, how to deal with people and things. Without compromise, nothing would ever get done; nothing would ever change, nothing would ever advance. If perfection were reality, we wouldn’t be human.

What does this mean to us? It means that you should probably stop worrying about making things “perfect” and accept imperfection itself as beautiful. It doesn’t mean, though, that we should give up trying to make our world or our lives better because they can never match up to the glorious vision we have for such things. I quote something I once read on an online forum once: “We must strive for perfection but settle for progress”. There is a careful balance between going further, and trying to achieve that imaginary point of perfection, being happy with what is happening now, and deciding life is “good enough”.

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1 Comment

  1. HEo said,

    I just got off the phone with a friend and we were talking about how after her pregnancy her belly button sticks out vs. being in like it was before she had her precious little boy. It bothers her, but she doesn’t want to do the surgery to correct it.

    This went on into a conversation about how Jesus was the only perfect person to walk the earth and that even with our imperfections, God still loves us. The world tends to send messages to be perfect in all we do, but reality is we will never be perfect and most of the time trying to be perfect just leads to hours of banging our heads against the wall and tons of emotional numbness and turmoil.

    I agree with your following statement “It means that you should probably stop worrying about making things “perfect” and accept imperfection itself as beautiful.” The slogan I have often lived by is “Strive for excellence”. We should always work to make the world a better place, but the reality is we live in a fallen world and it will never be 100% whole until Jesus comes back and those who believe go into heaven for eternity. I believe there all our imperfections will be whole or at least we won’t focus on them as imperfections.

    There is an interesting book you might want to check out on the topic called “How Good is Good Enough” by Andy Stanley. It’s a short read, but funny and good.

    I came across your website when I did a search for some encouraging quotes for my friend who is struggling with her body image after pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they were interesting to read.

    God Bless You!

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