Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Cycle of Perfectionism

Recently, God has spoken to me about my perfectionist tendencies. No,not just about wanting to have the house in perfect order before I can have company, and not just about liking things a certain way and not being able to rest until they are just so. He's shown me that I'm caught in a cycle of perfectionism. What I mean by that is my inability to move forward in a certain area until ALL the pieces of the puzzle are perfectly in place. Needless to say, it's not often I move forward in any area of my life, because anyone who has been around for a while knows it's rare all the pieces are ever perfectly in place.

I'll give you one small example, a not so personal one. I want to redo my livingroom this year. I'd really like new furniture, but first I need to paint. But then we need new carpet too. And new carpet means new woodwork. But wait, do we want to stay in this house? Do we want to move? What kind of things to we need to do to this house before we move? How much new house can we afford? Will this mean I can't quit working? Well what if Iwent back to teaching? But I don't have my certification. And no one will accept my credits. So do I want to start over? But could we afford for both of us to be in school? Okay, some of this is a stretch but it illustrates the point - my livingroom, if I continue on this logical path, will remain as it is because I can't take that first step.

I'm convinced this cycle of perfectionism is a trap of the devil. See, I'm doing something. I'm investing my energy into making plans and pondering the accompanying obstacles. I can be exhausted, having done absolutely nothing at all! And that's just exactly what the devil wants.

What does God want? I think all He really wants is for me to take the next step. I can't see what lies ahead but this is where faith comes in. I think it boils down to just two words, which I've been repeating over and over to myself recently: "Obey Today." Sometimes I am so focused on figuring out the end that I neglect to do what I know. What's worse, sometimes I don'teven bother to pray about things because I've already convinced myself I know the outcome.

So this coming year, I hope to move forward where God wants me to move forward. I'm not going to fret about the unknowns or the obstacles (well, I probably will, but maybe less than usual). I'm going just try and take baby steps of obedience, day by day. And trust God to show me the next step.

1 comment:

Dionna Sanchez said...

Great post and thoughts. I'll join with you this year in trusting and obeying God instead of trying to get it all "just right".