(Before I even begin, I feel the need to explain. I am not suggesting mediocrity as a lifestyle. Hardly. I’m all for doing our best, seeking the best, etc. But sometimes those of us who are perfectionists (me included) need a little dose of mediocrity, if for no other reason than to give ourselves a break in our quest to get it “all” right. So keep this in mind when you read this post.)
Have you ever wondered if maybe perfection is not all it’s cracked up to be?
If you’re on Pinterest, you know what I mean.
I mean the perfection is everywhere. Living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, even the yards. And then there the place settings that are tailored for each season. Where do they even store all the stuff?
And the photographs are little works of art. (I mentioned this yesterday as I am a bit envious of the photographs. You know, light streaming in the window at just the right angle creating perfect shadows and highlights.)
Many of these bloggers mention how their houses don’t always look that way though. The question begs to be asked, “Then why not take pictures of the messes, too”?
One of them actually did but you know what “messy” was for her? A sweater left on the stairs and a magazine left on the sofa!
Actually, I understand why they don’t. After all, these are money-producing blogs, so perfection is important. That’s how they’re getting their clients, after all. I get that.
It’s kind of like this doctor I had a consultation with recently. I saw his picture in the lobby before I was called into the examining room. But when he came in, he looked twenty years younger! Not a wrinkle anywhere. No forehead frown lines. No sunken cheeks. No wrinkles surrounding his eyes or lips. He looked pretty “plastic”. It was actually kind of creepy. I won’t be seeing him again.
Perfection. It’s everywhere.
Before you think I have a problem with perfection, I don’t. In fact, my husband and friends would say that I’m somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to a lot of things. I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with wanting to do our best, be our best, look our best, etc. In fact, I’ve written many posts about these very subjects.
But when we are so intent on perfection we can’t even enjoy our life, there’s something wrong. And I’m talking to myself here. I’m embarrassed to admit I have spent hours at Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, etc, looking for that “perfect something” for the house.
The Bible talks about not spending our time our worthless things. And the striving for perfection in all areas of life is, in my opinion, quite worthless. Mostly, because it’s impossible anyway.
1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable All things are lawful, but not all things edify.
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your ways.
It is not my place to decide for anyone what edifies or what is worthless. I find that Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount is a good place to begin.
I think down deep inside we all know what is worthless but I’m not so sure we always know what edifies. It definitely has to do with how we spend our time. In fact, that is one of the best barometers.
If spending time on Pinterest inspires me, makes me more creative, etc, it’s just fine. It’s no different from any other hobby. This whole point of the above two highlighted Bible verses is really more of a “heart” issue. Follow me here.
Our hearts are to be continually inclined towards God. Our thoughts are to be continually inclined towards God. And this is not easy to do. If it were, we wouldn’t have needed a Savior. We wouldn’t have a Bible to keep us on track.
I find it hard to have my heart and my mind directed towards God when it’s busy trying to perfect everything and everyone around me.
I believe that not only is it OK to me a little mediocre, it’s absolutely necessary for some areas of our life. (Remember, I’m using the word “mediocre” as an antidote to perfection, not as a lifestyle choice. Mediocrity will never get you where you want to go but perfection won’t necessarily either.)
Anxiety is a huge problem for millions of people and is often triggered by a striving for perfection and the accompanying feelings of failure that overwhelm one when it isn’t achieved.
In the world of Pinterest and Facebook perfection, I think it’s time to find areas in our lives where we can live with a little mediocrity.
I’m working hard on this myself. Just like a lot of people, I want my home “just so” and it bothers me when it isn’t. Right now, I’m sanding and painting a coffee table in the garage. The weather has been warm enough some days and too cold other days, so the project is taking longer than I want.
(See all those blotchy areas? Have re-sanded and it’s looking better but not sure I will get it all off.)
I am going to do my best with finishing the coffee table because I don’t want to buy a new one. But if it doesn’t turn out the way I want, I am making myself settle for a little less than perfect. And, I’m finding that very difficult. It’s not like me at all but it’s an area where I need to mature.
It’s all about where I’m willing to compromise. These are just “things”. And “things” are “worthless”. “Things” don’t “edify” us in any way. I will not be rewarded in heaven for how my coffee table looks.
Yes, we should do the best we can, most of the time that we can. But living with a little mediocrity and letting other people live with theirs, is OK, too.
Now go out there and let something in your life be a little mediocre for today, a little less than perfect.
God bless and have a good day.