Spots and Smudges

"Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize?  So run to win!" (NLT) 1 Co 9:24

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” (NLT) 1 Co 9:24

The other day I decided that it was well past the time for me to wash the outside of my windows and glass panels on my balcony.  As soon as I washed them there was a noticeable difference.  I could clearly see through the glass now without the familiar filter of a years worth of  green gunk and grime, oh and spider deification (yes spiders poop).  I was feeling pretty good about the progress I was making.  As I continued down the length of glass panels I looked back at the ones that were drying and noticed that there were spots and smudges that I had inadvertently missed during my first go.  So I went back to the first and started again. At almost the same spot down the line of glass panels I noticed that once again I could see spots and smudges on some of the panels that I had just done for the second time. So I decided that this time I would get a heavy-duty cleaning cloth, you know, the ones with the mesh on one side and really give the glass a good scrubbing and a good rinse with the garden hose set on jet (there is no better setting than jet on a nozzle).  As I sat inside my house after doing them all that third time I noticed that there were still spots and smudges that I could see on the glass panels.  At this point I decided to try to ignore the imperfections of my well intended cleaning endeavour (’cause I was exhausted) and made a note to self to hire someone to do this job the next time around.

"My focus remains short of its goal..."

“My focus remains short of its goal…”

Tell me, is there ever a time when one can truly remove each spot and smudge and have glass so pure that it shines without one blemish?  I have in the past had professionals clean my windows for me and even they leave streaks and miss places. I look out at the job that I did on my glass panels and outside windows and think that it isn’t good enough. Wow, where did that thought come from?  Didn’t I just work myself to the bone (slight exaggeration) trying to remove all the spots and smudges?  Why am I so focused on a few spots left over?  Why can’t I be satisfied with the job that I did and think job well done instead of “not good enough”?   Never mind that I have managed to remove a years worth of green gunk and grime, never mind that I have a clearer view…all I can focus on is the few spots and smudges. Yet still I look out at these panels of glass and think, it’s not good enough.  I can’t seem to focus on the whole and look beyond the spots and smudges to the beauty of the golf course.  My focus remains short of its goal. Instead it remains stuck on the foreground viewing the spots and smudges.

"God doesn't want our focus to be on the spots and smudges..."

“God doesn’t want our focus to be on the spots and smudges…”

I can’t help but wonder how often I do this in other parts of my life, focus on the foreground and miss the beauty beyond the spots and smudges.  Do I remain stuck in the foreground and miss opportunities that God would want to bless me with?  Do I have a shorten sight line because I am so focused on the foreground and believing that “it” what ever “it” is, isn’t good enough?  Does this inability or difficulty to look beyond the imperfection of things hinder me in viewing myself as God views me?  Do I somehow equate this belief of “it” as being not good enough to mean that I am not good enough?  How many times have I, have we accepted less than what was intended for us?  God doesn’t want our focus to be on the spots and smudges but on the goal which is to run the race of life to win. To be all that He created us to be and to stop focusing on our spots and smudges.  He doesn’t see these imperfections so why should we?

Here’s to running the Race to win and not trying to prove our worth by how perfect we do our jobs or live our lives.

In the Eye of the Beholder

Perfection in the imperfect.

The perfection in the imperfection.

Yesterday we had our family Easter dinner and while I was putting the finishing touches on things my husband offered to take Mae (our grand-daughter) out for a bit of a walk.  (I think that he figured I was a tad stressed when he came into the kitchen and looked over at me to see what I was making and I just glared at him and put my hand up to shoo him away). Come to think of it I still have to apologize to him for that.  Well if you read this post…sorry Bob and thanks for saving me yet again.

When they came back in Mae presented me with the most (beautiful) flower that I’m sure the world has ever seen.  She came around the corner to where I was sitting with this pink blossom cradled in her two little hands.  Gingerly watching it as she walked to present it to me.  Very proud of herself she hands it to me and says, “Here Gram, a flower for you to put in your paintings.” (She had on another occasion presented me with a half sea shell that I told her that I would put into one of my paintings, so to her this flower would make another great addition to her Gram’s collection of things to put into her mixed media paintings.) I’m still trying to think of a way to do this..wonder how much acrylic gel I would have to use to make it work?

Now I must admit that when I first spied the pink blossom gently nestled in her little hands I had a bit of a heart attack wondering which of my neighbours will be missing one of their well cared for and loved flowers.  But as she continued to approach I dismissed this thought (or I tried really hard to) and basked in this first experience between me and my grand-daughter.  So precious and so priceless.  She was so proud of her discovery and after some gentle prodding from me I discovered that she found this particular beauty lying on the ground. (Phew I can go out doors now with out the fear of receiving a deadly glare from my neighbours).

I wanted to take some pictures of this event for both Mae and I to remember it by.  As I looked at what I captured it made me think about beauty and what we consider worthy of our admiration.  As you probably noticed there was a reason why this particular blossom was lying on the ground.  It was due to soon die and the tree that produced it let it go. Which is all part of the process of the renewal of life.  However in this blossom a little girl found beauty so fragile and special that she felt it worth the effort to bring it to her Gram and present it as a perfect gift.

My grand-daughter didn’t once notice the imperfections in the gift she was presenting to me.  All she saw was its beauty and what her Gram could do with it.  She saw beyond the imperfections because she is still innocent enough to not take note of imperfection.  This was another reminder to me that beauty is more than what you see on the outside.  That often beauty is because of the imperfections.  That in fact, perfection is found in the imperfection.

Jesus knew that we weren’t perfect but he gave us a gift anyway.  He saw what was worthy in each of us to die for despite our imperfections.  I’m thanking Him for his gift on the cross and for the gift of my sweet innocent grand-daughter who unbeknown to her taught me a great lesson today.

Here’s to seeing the beauty in all things.