Last weekend I did something I have never done before in my life. I took a bag full of rubber bands and turned them into a rubber band ball. It sounded simple enough to me when I started. Take a bag full of rubber bands, wrap them around a hunk of tinfoil and make a ball out of the mess.
I dove headfirst into the task. At first, I would take individual bands and carefully stretch them around the core and then I would go back to the bag and grab a couple more. Slowly the ball started to take shape. About halfway through the bag, I grew frustrated. It was taking too long. There had to be a better way. I started grabbing handfuls of rubber bands and struggled to stretch them over the ball. That didn’t work well so I stopped for a second and took a sip of tea. (I’m trying to follow up on my new years resolutions after all).
I put the tea cup down and looked at the pile of rubber bands and the misshaped rubber band ball sitting on the counter. Stores sell these thing pre made maybe I should just go buy one. The ones at the store are perfectly round. The rubber bands perfect placed forming a perfectly round ball. The one I was making was more oval than round. It had peaks and valleys and barely rolled. It was also taking a long time.
My tea was growing cold and my misshapen rubber band ball lay next to a pile of rubber bands. The enthusiasm I first had when i started the project was fading.
I’m going to go and read a book this stupid ball isn’t matching up to my expectations. I thought.
No you started this project and you will finish it. A voice from deep inside my head said. But it’s taking sooo long and it doesn’t look right. Besides I can just go an buy a perfect one.
The argument raged in my head for what seemed like an eternity. In the meantime nothing was getting accomplished. My rubber band ball sat on the counter taunting me. Out of frustration I reached into the bag and started to add more rubber bands one at a time. Slowly the ball started to take shape. I filled in the low points and smoothed out the high ones. It started to become rounder. When the last band was placed, the ball was finished. It was still not as round as one from the store, but I was proud of it.
We all strive for perfection in our lives and in our faith. It is the ideal that we are to try to live up to, but more often then not we fail to live up to the perfect ideals we are striving for. When we become frustrated at our shortcomings we shouldn’t quit trying for perfection, but rather keep working towards it. We need to be willing to do the work God puts before us everyday and when we fail, ask for forgiveness, learn from the mistake and keep moving forward. Keep in your heart that God still sees you as perfect despite your inability to make a round rubber band ball.