Yesterday, I told you how all the little details of my new opportunity are coming together in such a holy way, you might even consider it perfect. But anybody who's been around for any length of time knows that when you start to think things are perfect, that's when they start to fall apart. I'm not worried this time, though, and here's why:
Because I know that good and perfect gifts come from God. (Pretty sure it says that somewhere.)
And I know what you're thinking - isn't that the problem? All my perfect gifts seem to fall apart. I can hear you whispering it right now, stomping your feet and wondering how I'm so confident in "perfect" when your "perfect" isn't so good.
I'm not confident in perfect. I'm confident in good and perfect. This, I have found, is the key and it's a bit of discernment I can generally rely upon to know whether something is from God or somewhere lesser.
This world's got perfect down. Whenever this world wants to make you do something or get you to do something or get you to buy something, they make it perfect. They take away all obstacles, set all the stones in place, make everything come together so awesomely right that you couldn't possibly refuse. It looks like the whole package, everything you thought you wanted. They lay out gold pavers on the muddy road and make it look like the brilliant way, and you're drawn to it. It's easy. It's simple. It's perfect. Of course it's right. Right?
You know as well as I do that when you step on that first golden stone, you start to sink. What seems perfect is anything but, and as soon as you commit to going that way, things fall apart. Money falls through. Disease strikes. Disorder hits. Disaster and dysfunction define your way until you feel like you've been walking forever, haven't gone anywhere, and can't remember what exactly it was that looked so perfect in the first place. This...is far from perfect.
And this world is pretty good at good. They use good to keep you where you are, to keep you from thinking about going anywhere. Have you ever wanted to make a big change in your life? Something maybe you've come close to going after? Then out of nowhere, you're hit with the overwhelming sensation that what you've got now is working. It's getting the job done. You're comfortable. It's not perfect, but it's good. So you settle in. Good is good, and nobody wants to mess good up.
You can't help but wonder, though, all you've missed out on for the sake of what seems to be good. A few years down the line, it doesn't look good any more but now you're stuck. Good is good.
Yes, this world is perfect at perfect and good at good, but you know what's missing? The and. This world will never give you good and perfect. It's one or the other, to lead you astray or hold you down. And what you discover eventually is...it's neither.
But what God gives is good and perfect. There are some things that fall together, like this opportunity, and you have to go after them. There's no reason not to. The difference is that when God pulls one perfect thing together, not everything's perfect. Some things are still just good. This opportunity for me clicked. But my whole life didn't just fall into place around it. There are still some obstacles, still some hassles. There are other areas of my life that haven't changed at all. There are places in my heart that are facing this new reality in the same way they always have, with the same questions I'm always asking. Mostly, these things are still good. I have the means and the abilities and the opportunities to face them head on, take care of them, fix them, embrace them, whatever I have to do. Some things are not good; that's life. Certainly, not everything is perfect.
That's how I know the perfect thing is God. It's surrounded by good, a little bit of not good, and all the strength I need for the good, perfect, and not perfect things.
I know this world is out to fool me. I know it thinks it can dupe me with wholly good or wholly perfect, but the holy is a delicate mix of both. So when the perfect comes along, I ask myself what I'm asking. If the answer is nothing, it doesn't seem so perfect anymore. But if I'm asking good questions, this may be the thing. This may be the very good and perfect thing God has for me.
In this case, I'm pretty sure it is.