Back in 2017, I was able to follow the updates from some of the games from the South East Asian games. I may not be athletic but I am deeply interested in sports. Whatever sport it may be, I will watch it. At that time, I had the the dual interest of rooting for my country and enjoying the sporting competition.
The games are fun to watch, but probably not to the Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian or even Filipino athlete who could not reach the coveted gold medal. In any sporting event you would see them. They put in a lot of effort in practicing and preparing for the competition. They put their whole lives into perfecting their record or beating the tough competition ahead. Some even had to prove themselves worthy of competing outside their respective countries. Only to stagger and fail near the end of the games. That perfect game, that perfect win, that gold medal winning move seemed to be not enough.
And so, they cry. Frustrated, flustered, disappointed.
Same is true with life.
I have been trying to perfect a lot of areas in my life. For the past 10 years, I have spent my life working my way as the best possible professional in my field. Yet, each time, I am reminded that I have a long way to go. It could be one screw up at work: one moment that I got too lazy or over slept or just neglected a crucial idea that I have learned before. Most often, it becomes a cycle of learning-forgetting-relearning.
Our every effort to be the perfect employee, the best professional, the right man or woman, the perfect wife or husband, or the perfect son or daughter could never be achieved in a lifetime. We try even to live the perfect life: obtain a a nice house, a brand new car, and a high paying job. We want to find the perfect man or woman that we will live our whole lives with. Yet, one way or another we face failure. Try as we might we can never obtain the best possible us we could ever dream of through our own might. Or if we were fortunate enough to do achieve it, we find something lacking from the experience, or something further should be achieved.
God may have given only 10 commandments compared to any country’s 200 or more rules and regulations, yet we still fail to keep the 10. Perfection after is not for us to achieve, but it is for us to receive. As the Apostle Paul would put it, we cannot do the good that we actually want to do because sin lives within us.
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
We live day to day seeking also to find favor with God and find right standing before Him in that He will find us blameless and perfect. However, that never happens unless we submit ourselves to a Higher Power. Until we submit ourselves to the person who has taken all the punishment for our failures: Jesus Christ.
While we may strive all our lives to be perfect, while we struggle with the desire to live the perfect life, perfection will only come when Jesus Christ comes. We are assured that God does a good work within us but His work often clashes with our desires. Thus, His work is often imperfect within us. We still fail. We still sin. We still get tempted. God knows that. But He also knows that when He comes back and transforms us – change our sinful bodies to perfect, heavenly bodies – His work will be complete in us.
This gives us no excuse to sin, or succumb to temptation. This gives us no excuse to just lay there in our failure. Instead, it gives us all the more reason to kneel down and seek Him. It gives us all the more reason to search for Him so that His good work in us would continue. We may not reach our most perfect version right now, but let us keep on searching for Him and get an upgrade from Him everyday.
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”
Philippians 1:6 NKJV