By Dawn Norton
Sometimes, I mistakenly think that I can take a course, or read a book, or complete a difficult task, and I will magically become perfect. POOF! Then I discover, while I may have improved a little or sometimes dramatically, I am still just a human, being human.
I look back on my life to the time when I was a teenager and just getting to know myself, doubt myself, and try to figure out this great big thing called life, and I see how very far I have come. Sometimes, when I look back on things I wrote thirty and forty years ago, I am surprised not only at how far I have come, but how much strength I had that I don’t seem to remember. I didn’t feel strong then!
One of the things I’ve learned about myself in the last few years is what specific strengths I have. Once I discovered that my biggest strengths were things like gratitude, love, spirituality, love of learning, and appreciation of beauty and excellence, and that I could use those strengths to help me solve problems and overcome challenges, I became less concerned at the many flaws that still need addressing and changing. I decided to let the Lord help my weaknesses become strengths. I rely on Him.
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Ether 12: 27
I have a compassionate heart and consider myself a “people person,” but figuring out a schedule? Staying consistent with all that I want to accomplish? Those are things I constantly wrestle with. I have a tendency to try to tackle way too many things at once and I am forever trying to reign in the galloping horse within me that wants to ride off to distant shores, hair trailing behind me. (If I only had long hair to trail!)
I want to be perfect TODAY and able to do it all NOW and when I crash in a heap of multiple undone projects waiting for completion to pull my dreams and scrambled thoughts together, I find that these are opportunities I have to rise above. Some days it will look just plain messy. That’s okay! I don’t have to be perfect today, or tomorrow, or even in this life.
Not being perfect isn’t bad, because nobody is. We’ve been given weaknesses so that they can be made strong through Christ. When I reject that truth, I make myself and everyone else around me wrong. I can also choose to be accepting of exactly where I am, and just take the next step or make the next decision.
There are a few things you and I can both know on our journey to perfection.
1- Discover your strengths and focus your problem solving with what we have instead of what we don’t.
2- We can trust that there are resources for us and our specific weaknesses and challenges; Someone bigger than us who knows the right gestation, season, people, and resources needed to help us succeed so that we can bless others with the gifts He has given each of us.
3- In every day and moment, we can choose to a) be calm b) still our thoughts and c) wait for the next idea that is needed to move forward.
These simple steps get us just one step closer to perfection, until the day that we each step into the presence of the One who does the perfecting.
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