How often have you seen it happen? The no-hitter. The 158.3 quarterback rating. The 300 bowling game. The elusive 10 in the Olympics. So many shoot for it but nearly everyone fails. Even the elite of the elite miss the mark over and over – most going their entire careers without ever achieving that one moment of perfection.
But still it’s chased. We hold the standard up and dare anyone to try to reach it. And when it does occur, the world stops for a moment. The athlete is raised up as the conquering hero. Adults and children alike begin to dream again imagining that the unimaginable is really possible. The sun shines brighter and everything is right in the world, at least for a day.
Moments of greatness. Deep down, we know they are fleeting. We know they won’t last but that’s part of the glory in them. Every once in a while we are witness to someone rising so far above mediocrity that they seem untouchable. We realize they don’t perform like this every day…that they are human, like us, and it gives us hope for the future for ourselves. It sets a goal for us, yes even us “normal” people, to shoot for.
Have you ever known an athlete who went the other direction with this? Who, instead of becoming a dreamer shooting for perfection, becomes defeated when watching someone else hit the mark? Their language becomes full of negativity and failure, speaking things like, “I can’t” or “I’ll never” or “I quit!” There is nothing more frustrating for a coach or a parent than watching this spirit take hold of an athlete. When it does, we push and challenge and encourage. We do anything possible to motivate and recast the dream.
But how about us? Do we still dream? Do we still chase perfection or have we been surrounded by failure so long that it is no longer even a thought for us?
Consider for a moment the perfect life. Not a life without financial struggles or the fairy tale existence but a life that is defined by peace in our hearts. A life that is so right that joy remains, even in the midst of heartache. A life overflowing with love.
Is it possible to really live this way? To live perfectly on this earth? To never step outside of God’s desire for us?
Before you answer, sit on this for a moment. Jesus told those of us who would follow his to “be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.” And the Jesus followers in Ephesus were told to “be imitators of God.” So there’s the target but our goal is not the perfect game but the perfect life!
Before you start objecting, consider for a moment that as a follower of Jesus, you are already accepted. God adores you and your pursuit of this goal has nothing to do with you earning his approval! It is completely about you claiming the blessings of the King. He wants so much for you. He has saved you to bless you and for you to be a blessing. He doesn’t want you to just play the game – he wants you to conquer it!
The crazy thing about this is there is only one thing you need to do to accomplish this incredible feet. Love! That’s it, just love.
What would life look like if every thought and every action was done in complete and total love? What if you always chose to put someone else first? What would happen to our pride, anger and greed? How about our lust, envy and selfish goals?
Imagine a life so full of love that there is no longer anything in us to make us stumble!
7 thoughts on “The Perfect Life”
Thanks Lesly! Let’s shoot for the goal!
Yesterday in class we were talking about the humanity of Jesus. Tom asked the question “What advantage is there or what kind of peace does it bring to know that Jesus was fully human?” My answer took a while to develop but eventually I came to the conclusion that for me it was the fact that He sinless without ever playing the divinity card that He had. He had such a love for and connection with His Father that sin, though tempting, paled in comparison to the life His Father had planned for Him. What that means for me is that there can be a day that I live sinless and not just some day “when I am in heaven.” That life, a life full of love for and connection with the Father is fully available to me right here, right now through the blood of Christ. That excites me!
Oh, to walk like Jesus!
Isn’t it amazing!? That salvation actually begins today. That the kingdom of God is intended to be the greatest thing for our life right here, right now! That we have the ability to show that love truly wins! That forgiveness is better. That we have been recreated to love so deeply that we would actually die for someone who despises us. Wow, the amount of freedom that is available but currently untouched.
Ginger – I want more of that!
Awesome post, Landon. One of the things I have always tried to live by is the 100/0 principle. if I give 100%, and expect nothing in return, then usually I am more blessed than I started, no matter how the other person responds.
Yes! Our ability to love someone has nothing to do with their accepting that love or responding to it in kind. Our offering that love is the point! Never heard it as the 100/0 principle but that’s a great way to think about it.