I have been pondering the whole be present, not perfect thing.
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. (Isaiah 43:18, 19 MSG)
Be present, not perfect.
The lure of being perfect is the desire to escape. Being present is easier during the good times and the happy times. It is during the uncomfortable, stressful, sorrowful or unhappy moments that being “perfect” feels like a better option than being present. Fake it until you make it. I don’t need to fake joy. I feel the need “fake it” when I’m angry or overwhelmed.
The definition of Utopia is “an imaginary place, a place where everything exists in a perfect state.” There is no such thing as utopia or perfect – it is imaginary.
I highlighted this line from Jesus Calling last week:
“Relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world”
– Jesus Calling, April 1st.
If I keep working toward creating a life that is “perfect” and “uncluttered” then I am putting all my effort into something that isn’t real. However, if I am aware of where I am and that God is going to do something miraculous there, real change is possible. Real change can’t happen until I accept where I am -until I deal with where I am. Until I believe God can bring forth real change from a real nightmare.
In this verse, God says He is going to make a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. He is saying to “be present in the desert, to be alert in the badlands”. Be aware of where you are when it is uncomfortable to be there. Feel it. Recognize it, experience it, be there. But “be there” with the expectation of change, not “be there”and be depressed about it. Not “be there” and settle for it. Be there knowing that God is working, is creating a new thing in your present reality and that real change is right around the corner.
Being present also means we don’t hold onto the past. We will miss the gifts of the present when we are focused on the experiences of the past. The Lord is calling you to be present. Be where you are. See what He wants to do where you are. Let go of the past. Don’t waste your time replaying it over and over in your head. That can become a fantasy too. It is over. If you live in the past (good or bad) you are missing the present.
Life is messy. Relationships are complicated. Change is difficult.
God wants to to create a miracle in the midst of the mess and a fresh relationship in the middle of the dry dusty one. That means opening your eyes to see a dry wasteland but seeing it with eyes of faith and a heart of hope. That means dealing with the conflict, speaking the truth in love, admitting that where is are is not where you want to stay but that with God all things are truly possible.
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
Whether you are having a great time or not, God wants to be there with you. He wants to walk through it with you and through that, create a miracle.
I love hearing your thoughts, quotes, encouragement and prayers!
I am praying that today you are encouraged to be fully present, let “perfect” go and that you will grab onto the promise of God for your life with both hands.