I have come to the conclusion that the majority of my readers are just like me. (No, not fifty-something-year-old, bleached-blonde females.) I mean, we are products of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Growing up during that time, I’m sure wasn’t perfect, but in hindsight, and especially compared with what is going on around us today, it sure came pretty close – at least for me.
Let’s think back for a moment… Look at the freedom we had. You could leave your house in the morning and often not return until dark and nobody panicked. We could play dodge ball, lawn darts, rode in back of pickups, and any number of things that have since been outlawed or done away with, including my personal favorite: wedged above the backseat against the cool glass looking at stars while driving at night. Of course, there were seven of us in a Rambler, so that actually may have been the roomiest spot in the car. About the only thing we couldn’t do was run with scissors (which I still don’t recommend).
Even though we may not have had the “safest” of environments, I think, for the most part, there was at least a sense of security, an aura of innocence and an abiding faith in the Almighty. I know my parents did everything they could, and sacrificed a lot, to ensure my world was as perfect as they could make it.
So I was thinking…
Life has come full circle for me in many ways. My parents provided me with a wonderful start to life on this earth and maybe that’s why I have been so determined to repay the favor, so to speak, to them at the end of theirs. In the three-and-a-half years they have lived with us, I have tried everything I can to make my aging parents’ world “perfect” – from their numerous healthcare needs, to their comfort, to their safety, to their day-to-day enjoyment. Most things have worked, but many have not. And, honestly, some of my efforts were met with a less than enthusiastic response, and there were times when my labors were akin to pushing a rope up a hill. It’s not that they don’t appreciate my efforts, but they admit that there is something to the saying about teaching an old dog new tricks.
The biggest problem, though, is that I ran myself ragged in the process. And you know what? Although I have been able to improve their health and prolong their lives, while making their days more enjoyable and comfortable in a safe environment (which is wonderful!), I still have not achieved perfection. Why? Because lasting perfection simply cannot exist in this world. (As any homeowner can attest: You get one thing fixed and something else goes wrong or falls apart, am I right?)
The point is, we will never live in a perfect world, but think about how much time, effort and money has gone into trying to achieve that elusive goal, myself included. People have gotten rich peddling everything from the fountain of youth to every indulgence imaginable to try to attain perfection, be it tangible or intangible.
Further, eventually, no matter how perfect something seems, it’s going to fade away. The most vibrant sunset, fragrant flower, prized possession, even this glorious world will someday come to an end. (And, yes, even dark roots eventually grow out.) You simply cannot hold on to perfection, if it is ever attained.
I am so thankful that I finally accepted the fact that I can’t make my parents’ world perfect. In fact, their idea of perfect and my idea of perfect are not even always the same thing! And if I am so busy forcing my concept of perfection on them, how could that ever be perfect? I now try to spend more time “enjoying” them, than trying to “fix” them, and we are all much happier!
As we are often reminded in the Bible, this world is not our home; we are merely passing through it on our journey to our real home. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make the most of the time we spend here enjoying God’s marvelous blessings, but it is eternally important to remember that God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives, so we must use our time and resources wisely and for His glory. If we can do that, then we have assured ourselves of a perfect ending.
(Jesus said) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2: 15-17 firstname.lastname@example.org www.Facebook.com/PhyllisKnightAuthor