I like to play video games. Mostly sports games, because they don’t last too long in one sitting, and because it can be mindless for me…no tough storyline or “quest” to be a part of. What I normally do with a sports game is play “career mode”, which allows me to create a player and lead that player through his 10-15 year career. It probably doesn’t sound exciting to many of you…but again…we’re going for mindless entertainment.
What I notice about myself is that even though I start with the intention of completing a 10-15 year career with a player, I rarely make through the first year. I stop and reset when I’m no longer satisfied with my player’s stats. I strike out too many times…or throw too many interceptions…etc., and then I start all over.
Essentially, I’m trying to be perfect. At least in the game… What I find is that this little compulsion I have to being perfect in the game, actually ends up making me feel pretty terrible about myself. I know it sounds silly, a game, setting my mood for the day…but it’s true. So then I try even harder to be perfect, and simply get more and more upset…I thought this was supposed to be mindless????
In the past few weeks, I’ve recognized this, and have made it a discipline of mine to just play the game…continue the career, no matter how the results end up. The interesting thing is that I really do feel better. Even though the player in the game doesn’t have perfect stats, he’s actually making it into the second and third years of his career!
I know how crazy I sound…but it’s me.
And I am certain that when we are told to “be perfect” in scriptures, it has NOTHING to do with a video game…
Part of being perfect, I think, is remembering that we won’t have perfect “stats”. “Stats” are a measurement, but being perfect is action. At the end of the day, did we do all we could to bring about the Kingdom of God? In my eyes, that’s what this “perfection” thing is about. Life doesn’t have a “reset” button. We can’t just get a “do-over”, and erase the past and begin again. Part of being perfect is that we live perfectly into the mistakes that we’ve made. We seek forgiveness as God forgives. We offer love as God loves. We offer mercy as God is merciful…and each day work to live into the image of our Creator.
Are there things in your life that you try to have perfect “stats” with?