Our imperfect world

Goldie, my five-year-old Catahoula mix puppy, and I were walking by a house with a van parked out front. A man
delivered something to the people within the house and drove away. When he finished his delivery, I saw the name emblazoned on the side of the van. It read, “Imperfect Van Service.” I waved at him to stop as he pulled up beside us with Goldie barking entirely too much, (very annoying). The young man rolled down his window, smiling at me. I said with some enthusiasm, “I absolutely love the name of your van service.” He smiled and said, “Thank you,” rolled his window back up and went on his way.

We live in a society that either strives for perfection or thinks we have already achieved it. We hear these statements so often, we become dull to what we’re really saying: “They have the perfect marriage;” There is the “perfect couple;” this is the “perfect car for you;” “Your timing was perfect.” Our President got impeached when one piece of the evidence against him was “a perfect call,” according to him.

The point is, who can live with such perfection? No wonder 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Who can live together under such unrealistic expectations? Of course, the opposite is also true. If you enter an enterprise like marriage saying, “if it doesn’t work out, we can always get a divorce.” I mean, what kind of commitment is that?

But this perfection paralysis is more insidious, especially now in the face of the coronavirus. There is “fake news” out there trying to convince us that this virus was man made by a Harvard professor working in China. A Harvard professor was arrested, but nothing else about the story was true. And this virus is not “manmade.”

Nothing says “imperfect” like a pandemic. That too, has unintended consequences. Signs everywhere are imploring us to practice social distancing because, “we’re all in this together.” In fact, we will not survive unless
we remain together and steadfast. That’s the thing about a crisis, it often brings out the best in us.

No, Goldie and I do not need anything to do with perfection. She has a scar on her right side where she ran too fast into our front gate. And I, well, I’m way too short for the pounds I carry. I cannot do anything about Goldie’s scar, and she cannot do anything about my weight problem, except lead me on our daily walks.

Now, that is perfect!

Mark W. Stoub, award-winning author of the forthcoming memoir, “A Vagabond Pastor: Lost and Learning to Love
It,” and novels, “Blood Under the Altar,” and “The Fifth Trumpet: Fire in the Blood.”

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