"Many of us have been living the life we’ve always wanted, or so it seems. But just under the surface of that lovely life is exhaustion, or isolation or emptiness. It doesn’t matter how pretty things look on the outside if on the inside, there’s an ache from a lifetime of trying to prove your worth." Shauna Niequist
I’m trying to make peace with a healthy medium.
But, it seems like the world wants me to be really thin and really tired. I hear myself say, “If I could just lose twenty pounds and get one more thing accomplished, I’d be perfect." It’s easy to get sucked into the ’skinny-hustle’vibe when I listen to other people compare their weight loss regimens and daily schedules as I drink my skinny latte. It can sometimes feel like we’re all competing for the “Most Ridiculous Life” award. To be honest, I grew up in a family where we were very conscious about what we ate and the clothing we wore. Initially, it was because we needed to wear the uniform of all the other families in our tax bracket. But, after my parents’ divorce when I was fifteen, money became scarce so we became very conscious about what to wear and what to eat for other reasons.
In my mind, I translated the perfect weight as having the perfect life. The perfect life was within my grasp. It was only six months away.
Perfection. I think the world wants us to believe perfection exists somewhere between exhaustion and starvation. I think some of us are okay with the idea. We know that it will cost us everything to gain that perfection. We have what it takes. After all, doesn't it say a lot that we are willing to sacrifice so much to get it? So, we accept we must live in some kind of depleted state. We cope with the obvious signs of depletion such as anxiety and depression. Day by day, the message of 'all we need is just a little bit more’ is fed, watered and cared for so it grows continuously isolating us. The mixed messages the world sends keeps us on edge. We can feel panicky and strung out because someone else found the new and improved secret to achieve that elusive perfection. That’s where the myth of “I just need a little more’ abides.
As you can imagine. Jesus has something to say about this.
Jesus confounds the listening ear and astonishes the diminished heart. He offers a relationship of indulgence based in radical abundance and outrageous acts of hospitality. Matthew captures his words succinctly. They almost sound too good to be true.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” *
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”**
Sunday, we will talk about the myth of 'needing a little bit more.' This myth convinces us that we will never have enough which translates into we will never be enough. At one level that is absolutely true. We, as human beings, can never be perfect. But, that’s where Jesus makes up all the difference. Whether we need 5% or 95%, his perfection makes up for all shortcomings and imperfections. His perfection isn’t linked to anything we can scramble to achieve or accomplish. With Jesus Christ, we are enough. We might even call it luxury of the heavenly kind. It’s not available in six months. It’s available now to anyone who would believe.