Friday Devotional - Present Over Perfect
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
— 1 Corinthians 10:31
One of the books I’m reading right now is Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist and as the sub-title suggests, the books details the author’s journey of “leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living.” The idea of being present and showing up in your life and not being so concerned about perfect, the hustle and the push to get all.the.things. done.
She talks about how “the best thing I can offer to this world is not my force or energy, but a well-tended spirit, a wise and brave soul.” I view this as not being perfect or busy, but tending to your soul so that you have capacity to be present and connected to others.
In another passage, she talks about fake-resting (i.e., still in her pajamas, but ticking things off the mental to-do list such as cleaning countertops, changing laundry, tidying the house, etc.) compared to real-rest (such as playing a game with her boys and spending time with her family). She also talks about taking responsibility for your own rest – “Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for resting your body and your soul. And part of being an adult is learning to meet your own needs, because when it comes down to it, with a few exceptions, no one else is doing to do it for you.”
All I could think about as I read these sections was when Jesus talked about resting in Him –
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-29
Jesus knew how to rest His soul. Routinely He would pull away from the crowds, spend time in prayer with His Father and re-fill His soul. I have to believe that this wasn’t just for His own benefit, but rather to have a full cup from which to pour out to others who needed His wisdom, grace and healing. If Jesus took the time to rest His soul and He’s our example, then we should do the same – fill our cups so that we can be present with and show up for those around us.