By Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee
ON BEING PERFECT
It’s what gets said when the painter finishes the image on canvas… “perfect!” It’s what Garrett Cole almost did against the Mariners on Sunday… pitch a ‘perfect’ game except for one pitch. It’s what a momma says when she comes home to discover the toddler twins just finished a baby powder sword fight and the there’s white stuff and that smell everywhere! “Perfect. Just perfect,” she says. It seems that perfection is all around us at times as is imperfection. We all have them.
From time to time, my wife reminds me there was only one ‘perfect’ person who ever walked the earth and accomplished everything he set out to do. His name is Jesus. Born in Bethlehem. Hailed as God’s only son …so perfect another has never been needed. Over the last 2000 years he’s had many followers. One of them was Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul… who wrote in a letter once to some friends…
“…let us run with perseverance the race that is set
before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter
of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set
before him endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:1-2
Wow! Do I need to hear that from time to time. To keep plugging away at life, even though life doesn’t always go my way. Oh, you too?
Just for the record, I am far from perfect. Ask my siblings. Ask my children. Ask, some long-time friends. They’ll tell you more than you want to know! And yet I know some people who are a bit less perfect than me! Whether we admit it or not… deep within us and as a result of our insecurities we all hold on to a “perfect quotient” of some sort. But I take great stock in the worn-out piece of the puzzle of my imperfect life knowing that God is working out his perfection in me! Can we trust the nature of Jesus? What does it mean Jesus is our pioneer? Our perfecter? Is there something to ‘becoming’ Christian instead of just ‘being’ Christian?
Well, where I come from a pioneer is someone who goes ahead of the rest. The one with the machete’ who cuts through the scrub brush and forges out a path for everyone else to follow. A pioneer is the one who blazes the trail so that those who follow will not have to travel with the same degree of burden and toil. And if the pioneer is first then the perfecter is the last…the one who puts on the finishing touches and realizes that the end-product is nowhere close to the thing it started out as. Hmmm, the pioneer! Hmmm, the perfecter! The first one and the last one. Maybe that’s why Jesus said he is the Alpha and the Omega, the A and the Z, the first and the last, the beginning and the end and if we really pay attention…everything in between, too! And maybe the only way then to address my imperfection is to follow the one who is!
Someone once said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Sometimes I need to read it more than once but what a perfect way to see how important each of us is to God and ultimately, to those around us.
Someday I’ll look in the mirror of my full and completely ended life. I will not see my face but instead I will see the face of Jesus and when that happens, I’ll know for certain that there is nothing left for God to do in me. That will be a great day… perfectly perfect! But, in the meantime I will keep my eyes on the pioneer of my faith and be open to the perfecting that only God can do! Faith matters.
Brian Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland and the lead pastor at New Life Lutheran Church at 3521 E. Orange St. in Olde Pearland. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Friend2theRabbi. Comments and questions can be sent to [email protected]