Yesterday I spent some time out in my garden. It was an odd time of day when I had some “free time” – in quotes because, with the state of my house, I should never have free time again! Even with all those chores inside calling me, we are having a streak of mild weather, and the evening was too good to waste inside. So I attacked some of the embarrassing grasses and unnamables that have been encroaching on the day lilies and coneflowers and lavender and black-eyed Susans. And the job that has had me gritting my teeth for at least a week took, oh, twenty minutes. You mean I’ve been putting this off for a measly twenty minutes of good rip-roaring get-some-satisfaction work in the garden?!?

I couldn’t help but think of how I am so caught up in being the best and the brightest and the most whatever, fill in the blank. I sometimes can’t even get started due to the project not seeming to have a high enough likelihood of perfection.

But God doesn’t ask me to be perfect.

He asks me to stop, to listen, to let him drive. He asks me to focus on him, to point myself heavenward even as I remain earthbound, to pray and fast and celebrate the Eucharist.

He does not ask me to be perfect.

So where does my quest for perfection come from? How can I stop it?

The answer for me lies in the cross. The hope for me rose from the grave. The joy for me sits at the right hand of the Father.