Monday, December 23, 2013

“Almost perfect… but not quite.”

“Almost perfect… but not quite.”

Those were the words of Mary Hume

At her seventh birthday party,

Looking ‘round the ribboned room.

“This tablecloth is pink not white—

Almost perfect…but not quite.”

“Almost perfect…but not quite.”

Those were the words of grown-up Mary

Talking about her handsome beau,

The one she wasn’t gonna marry.

“Squeezes me a bit too tight—

Almost perfect…but not quite.”

“Almost perfect…but not quite.”

Those were the words of ol’ Miss Hume.

Teaching in the seventh grade,

Grading papers in the gloom

Late at night up in her room.

“They never cross their t’s just right—

Almost perfect…but not quite.”

Ninety-eight the day she died

Complainin’ bout the spotless floor.

People shook their heads and sighed,

“Guess that she’ll like heaven more.”

Up went her soul on feathered wings,

Out the door, up out of sight.

Another voice from heaven came—

“Almost perfect…but not quite.”

By Shel Silverstein

Confession time:

I have a complaining problem. My 11 year old daughter approached me this morning and read this poem to me.  She did not intend to cut to the quick of my heart, but the Lord did.

For some reason, whether blessing or curse, my eye always sees the flaws in things. When a wall is presented before me, without even thinking, my eye goes over the wall and finds the pock mark, the chip, the dent, the cob web, the splatter of food. And then my brain says "Aha! Look that!". Now, if God had given me a job as an inspector on an assembly line, this would be quite the gift to have, but alas, He has not.

The trouble is this same eye, sees my kids efforts to clean in the same way and my husband's driving and the walls in my bedroom and the inside of my car, and my kitchen sink, and the list goes on and on and on and on.....

The result is an "Almost perfect, but not quite" attitude. I call this "my critical heart". The Bible calls this discontentment. And discontentment is disobedience.

Heb 13:5
Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,"
Phil 4:11
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Not only is discontentment disobedience against God, but it also brings earthly consequences.
Discontentment brings misery. Can one be happy & rejoicing when all they are doing is seeing the failures of people and things? Someone who is so consumed with criticizing things is miserable & unhappy & misses out on all the wonderful blessings God is giving them.

Sometimes when I close an email or letter, I am tempted to write "God Bless you" but instead I write "May you see the blessings of God in your life". Because God is constantly blessing His children. He is constantly working good in our lives (Romans 8:28) It is simply our choice as to whether or not we will purpose to SEE it.

Lastly, discontentment hurts those around us.
Discontent people are complainers. Luke 6:45b  tells us "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."   Have you ever spent time with a chronic complainer? I have and here is the result: I feel depressed, I feel yucky & emotionally exhausted. I want to escape the negativity as quickly as possible. Chronic complainers are difficult to be around. They repel people. Instead of drawing people to the Light of Christ within us, when we complain, we REPEL people. 

It is my prayer today that you & I will moment by moment repent of discontentment. That we PUT OFF the old man in our complaining & PUT ON gratitude & joy.

May we see the blessings of God in our lives,


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