“In terms of faith, I’ve turned less and less a perfectionist. In fact, I’m increasingly convinced that faith and perfection contradict one another.” – Alberto Salazar from his book “A Running Legend’s Life and Death and Life 14 Minutes. My husband, the marathon runner, just finished reading this book. Apparently Alberto Salazar discovered a deeper faith in God through his journey of running. Many people tend to find their faith at the end of the most important journeys of their lives. His quote intrigued me.
“In terms of faith, I’ve turned less and less a perfectionist. In fact, I’m increasingly convinced that faith and perfection contradict one another.”
When we try to be perfect and attain perfection in our actions and ourselves we believe that perfection is a possibility. I believe that nothing but God is perfect. He created each of us for a reason. I believe that the overall reason is to love Him and bring that love to the world around us. I don’t believe that God intended for us to be perfect. When we try to reach perfection we become enslaved with one part of our life working endlessly to make it just right. Anytime we are enslaved by anything then we have walked away from God. How can we say that we trust in God completely if we are obsessed with anything? We must be free from obsession and addictions for God to guide our lives. We must be open to change and not enthralled with any one part of life.
That is not a free pass to stop trying to do your best in life. It means we should not spend all of our time, energy, and thoughts obsessively on one idea. If we are working on perfection then we are not allowing God to be a part of our lives. It’s like the God Box I wrote about. So many of us are comfortable with putting God in a box and taking Him out when it is convenient to do so. We put God in the box while we work on our lives and then we get Him out when something goes wrong. If we stop putting God in a box and open our hearts to His will instead of our own quest for perfection then we will discover a deeper faith and a richer life than we ever knew was possible.
Try it. Whatever you are obsessing about let it go. It’s ok to not be perfect. Do your best but do not strive for perfection; it is not possible. Instead trust in God, do your best, let Him be a part of your thoughts, energy and actions and you will not need what you believe that feeling of perfection will give you. The love of God is a better reward than perfection.
Copyright 2013 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp
About the Author
Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp - mom of 4 teens/wife for 20+ years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and the ability to recognize God. She is a retreat director at Sacred Heart Academy HS. She just earned her MA in Pastoral Ministry as well as a certification in spiritual direction.