Yesterday was a day of humbling. I made a big mistake at work, had to fudged a little on a recorded time, and to top it off, when the left turn lane started to move on the turn arrow, I started forward from my straight lane. Catching my error, I slammed on the brake. There I sat in the middle of the cross walk in my driver’s instruction car for all to see my error. The haunting realization came over me that even under my scrupulous vigilance I can’t attain perfection. The illusion of perfection was no longer possible to maintain.
I’m a perfectionist! I live under that faulty idea that I need to do all things perfectly. How imperfect is the pursuit of perfection? To think that I can do anything perfectly is ridiculous -not to mention it’s hard work. I’m reminded of the guy on the Ed Sullivan show twirling plates on top of poles. He had to run from plate to plate to keep them spinning so they wouldn’t fall. In my yesterday’s experience, plates fell. One fell then another. It was a disaster.
So here I am, in the aftermath of humiliation, trying to make sense of it all. I ask myself,” What causes me to be a perfectionist”? My answer is twofold. First, I am created in the image of God, who is perfect. It’s inherent in my nature to want things perfect. Secondly, I have a sinful nature, so I’m full of pride. I inherently want to be better than the next guy. I also don’t want to be criticized by the next guy. Perfectionism can also set me in a place where I judge others as less than me. How ugly is that?
I now rejoice in my day of humbling. It brings me down from the throne of superiority and places me right back where I belong. I will continue to give my best effort at work and in all my endeavors because it is the right thing to do, but I will also make every attempt to keep a humble place and avoid letting my desire to do good work tempt me into a prideful place. I will trust God to give me days of humbling when I need them. After all, I am a sinner in need of a savior.