“Mom, when I grow up, I’m going to have the perfect life.”
So said my almost-six-year-old yesterday afternoon.
She went on to describe the perfect Aspen trees she’d climb, the horses she’d ride. And I lost track of her detailed perfection as I looked around at the toys strewn all over the floor, her mis-matched outfit and runny nose.
I paused before replying. She sounds just like I did at that age, or a little older.
I had the perfect life. Or so I thought. Until something happened in my extended family and shattered my perfect family image.
I spent my teen years reaching for that elusive bit of a perfect life that I could control. Perfect rules. Perfect standards. Perfect relationships. And I knew that when I grew up, I’d have the perfect children, the perfect home, the perfect schedule.
But here I was, in the middle of a far from perfect home, staring at the oldest of those anything but perfect children. Listening to her version of perfection. So like mine was (and too often is). So based on externals.
I pointed her to the toys on the floor, asking her to help perfect the little spot she was in now. And I tried to explain to her that our reality often differs from our dreams. That life is far from perfect. That perfection won’t make us happy.
But if earth was perfect, we wouldn’t long for Heaven. If we didn’t miss the mark, we wouldn’t need the Cross. If our lives were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior.
Thank God that we don’t have the perfect life.