Always We Begin Again
For a perfectionist like myself, this is a hard concept to come by, but it’s a concept that brings me great hope. I do not like to fail, I do not like to let other people see me fail; I think this has a lot to do with the culture we live in today, a culture where we capture the perfect snapshot or the perfect angle for the perfect picture. To let other people see the work that goes into the “perfection”, proves to them that I can’t do it on my own, and when I live this way it ultimately ends up in disaster!
St. Benedict gives us this beautiful reminder that, always we begin again. How refreshing! This means that when I’m going in 100 different directions and I’m juggling 15 plates with one hand and they come crashing down, I can begin again. This means that when the eggs burn in the pan for breakfast and I forgot to put the filter in for the coffee, I can take a deep breath and begin again. This means when I’ve forgotten to pray, or have pushed my prayer time throughout the day instead of at the beginning of the day and fall into bed without taking time to pray, I can begin again.
How refreshing in a day and age where we are tempted to pretend, instead of being real - where perfection is captured through social media, when filters can take a somewhat good picture and turn it into a delightful picture. Where autotune can fix flat or sharp notes, so you don’t actually need to be able to sing to be a popular singer.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect” (Mt 5:48) Perfection is not bad - in fact, it is encouraged by Christ. However, I think in our human frailty we often forget what perfection is and more importantly from whom it comes. Christ desires our perfection, but perfection means a surrender to God’s grace, recognizing our insignificance and powerlessness without God himself. SURRENDER IS HARD. Recognizing our weaknesses is hard, but recognizing God’s desire to become perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9) is freedom.
Jesus gives us a prayer so that we can begin again, a place to start and a prayer that is always sufficient, the Our Father. Through this prayer, we are able to quit babbling like the pagans, we are able to surrender our wills to God’s, and we are reminded of the daily bread we receive, that we too, may begin again.
Where is your heart today? Where is God calling you to begin again, that he may be God and you can just be you? When we recognize God’s infinite desire to walk with us in our daily lives, in our moments of triumph and our moments of failure, we can recognize the manna from heaven that gives us the power to live abundantly right where we are. Take a deep breath my friends, God’s got this. Begin again.