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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Perfect Family

My daughter just said that we’d have a perfect family if it weren’t for her brother. This seems a little uncharitable since she just hit him.

The idea of a perfect family got me thinking about a conversation I was part of a few nights ago with a group of people, most of whom are parents as well as spiritual teachers of adults. Chris, who teaches scripture, mentioned his problem with the Biblical injunction to “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” “I just think it’s a bad translation,” said Chris. Of course, I can’t remember the recent translation that Chris thought was more accurate, but it didn’t imply an impossible ideal to strive for, the way the word perfect does. It was more loving. Later in the conversation, Chris said that we were in this world to learn to deal with imperfection, our own and other people’s, which led to a conversation about acceptance, even as we try to improve the places we work and world we live in.

This is all a good reminder to me not to expert a perfect family. Sometimes when we have a morning like today’s where I have too much to do and the kids are nipping at each other, I wonder why they can’t just sit peacefully reading edifying literature. Of course, I have to teach them how to act, but I also have to accept that they won’t always be perfect. Actually, they won't ever be perfect. They're human.

It hasn’t been a perfect day either, but the clouds are starting to clear. We’re flying tonight to Ireland (which by the way means I won’t be posting for over a week)! There are the usual things to do: water the plants, pay the bills, etc. In addition I had a new stove being delivered and a plumber coming, and just to complicate things I have a relative having problems, so I had to drive around putting out brush fires this morning with two kids in the back seat who just want to get on the plane already. Then I tried to print our plane tickets and discovered the airline moved me twenty rows away from Tom and the kids. Good thing learning imperfection is good for my spiritual growth.

I have a sense that it will all work out. I have two hours and twenty-three minutes before we have to leave, and I only have six things left on my to-do list. The plumber, who had to run out for someone else’s emergency, swears he’ll be done by then, so what could go wrong? Vacation is a good time to let go of anxiety and expectations, and Ireland should be a good place to practice.


Anonymous crunchy said...

Hope it all went as smooth as silk!!!!

I have been having days like this too. As I was reading this post, I wondered if "being perfect" has something to do with acceptance of what would it be if we could all *not* resist how things might our relating with each other be different..without our reactions? Perhaps we'd be much more peaceful? Be more deeply connected? Not have our reactions cloud over our true God essance....

A thought, anyway. (-: Have a great vacation int hat lovely place!

9:45 AM  

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