Being Present > Being Perfect

Things rarely go according to plan. For most of us that isn’t a big deal, but for the perfectionists among us it is a tough pill to swallow.

We would love to experience the perfect team dynamic, the perfect family environment at home, the perfect church…but you and I know the reality of these things being less than perfect:

  • Teams experience conflict and loss
  • Families deal with chaotic schedules and messy homes
  • Churches deal with complex personalities and religious expectations

Here is the tough news for you and me: we are VERY likely to fall short of perfection in things that really matter. Your team will let people down at times. Your family is likely to let each other down at times. Churches can unfortunately fall short of people’s hopes and expectations.

The trouble with the pursuit of perfection is it tends to rob us of our ability to be present in a moment. Our sight can get so set on an ideal down the road that we end up being emotionally or mentally absent when engaging with the person in front of us.

The people we serve would love to experience a perfect team, a perfect church experience or a perfect family. But more important to the people we serve and care about is our ability to be present with them.

Be present or be perfect. I’d love to be both. Only one will receive my best effort.

I would love for my house to be perfectly clean with everything in order. My wife and kids benefit most from my attention and presence, rather than a perfect home.

It would be great if my church could exceed every expectation people have. Our guests are best served and cared for by our willingness to engage with them in the middle of mess, problems and unmet expectations.

Our team would love to experience perfect relational harmony. However the relationships that end up having the most depth are those where we have experienced breakdown and navigated through it together.

I’d love to be perfect, but I have come to discover that being present matters more than being perfect.

Set your attention towards being present this week. Strive to do excellent work, but give your best effort and attention to the work of being emotionally and mentally present with the person in front of you.

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