A Perfect Distraction

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The theme for Raw(e) this week is a bit more obscure. Rather than being a door knob or crayons or some other specific object, Sami challenged us to photograph a distraction. What distracts us from God, from relationships, from responsibilities? What steals our attention from where it should be?

It didn’t take me long to realize that my major distraction is perfectionism and ultimately discontentment.

I’m a perfectionist at heart. I like things to be organized, clean, planned out, and under control. So when things don’t quite meet my expectations, which they rarely do, I do everything I can to fix that. But as you can imagine, it’s an unending cycle.

Often times I let myself get carried away in trying to make things “just right” and lose sight of the big picture. Or I focus all of my energy and attention on trying to perfect something, and then I never actually enjoy it.

In the end, it ultimately leads to discontentment. I catch myself putting things off until I reach a higher level of contentment.

That devotional book will wait until I move into a new house where I’ll be more content.

I’ll go participate in the conversation after I clean and scrub and organize until my room is perfect.

All those emails in my inbox can sit tight until I start working from home and am more content.

But I’d be a fool to believe that I’ll achieve complete contentment by perfecting the fallen world around me. I’d be ridiculous to think that I could organize and plan and control my life into perfection. The truth is that God is the only one that can truly quench my thirst for perfection. He, himself, is perfect and can fill me with joy in a moment despite imperfect circumstances.

So I’m going to work on overcoming perfectionism and discontentment as distractions.


I’m going to leave everything where it is and just offer it to God.

It's probably bad if the photo needs an explanation, but I just wanted to make sure I got the point across. The idea was to show my neat little to-do list and the jar of pens all neatly put away... and then in the background everything else that's just waiting for me to straighten and organize and PERFECT it!
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