I have a habit of often proclaiming that I live in “the land of good enough”. This is often my excuse for my quickness to accept minimal efforts from myself as well as others. “The land of good enough” is a nice place to live. Within the borders of this wonderful habitation I can release myself from difficult tasks, uncomfortable conversations, and burdensome obligations. In the “land of good enough” my housekeeping techniques go something like this: baseboards are only cleaned prior to mother/mother-in-law visits(although these days even that is allowed to slide by), only the level of the house you expect guests to venture into need be cleaned, events hosted at the home take place after sunset (everything looks better in candle light…matter of fact, in candle light, dust tends to give that fuzzy warm look to your home…sort of like when movie film is shot through cheese cloth to give a scene a dreamy/blurry image.), the vacuum stays set out in the hall/entry way(so folks who”drop in” think I’m in the middle of cleaning…which explains the current disarray they may encounter) and I am okay with my floors not being “clean enough to eat off of” since I am not likely to ask you to do so. In “the land of good enough” wrinkles are not an enemy which need eradicating, but rather a fashion choice. In my little land, weeds in the lawn are not of concern as long as they are green. My hair, make up and nails need not achieve perfection. Ones personal appearance need only not provoke gasps of horror in “the land of good enough”. I’ve actually thought my existence in this “land” was a good thing. Not only does it allow me to reduce my stress, but it also makes it easy to extend grace to others. If my waitress is a little slow, it’s no problem as long as I get food. If the other drivers on the road are less than perfect, well…sometimes just not causing an accident is “good enough”. If someone makes a mistake that causes me problems, I can often forgive them because intentions are most important in “the land of good enough”. Who wouldn’t want to live in “the land of good enough”?
Our Sunday school class has been involved in a study lately which has me reevaluating the confines of my wonderful, forementioned “land”. In his book, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, Mark Batterson examines the actions of a warrior whose exploits are briefly mentioned in 2Samuel 23:20-22. Here we read of a man who did not choose the easy, or even logical, path…instead he chased the difficult and dared to attempt the impossible. Jesus Himself, shares the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30 which also highlights “the master’s” pleasure with those who took risks to benifit him.. The Word of God is filled with examples of people who chose to step out, step up, and do difficult things. I began to search the scriptures for examples of people who maybe also once lived in “the land of good enough” …could there be an example of God being delighted with mediocre efforts, easy choices and low expectations? Nope. Instead I find tons of evidence of God’s delight with those who step beyond the walls of “good enough” so that He might be glorified. By allowing myself, and those around me, to find comfort/justification in doing the least that can be done, I may be missing His best. I do not mean to imply that I will be making any radical housekeeping/personal upkeep changes…only that I now see I do need to make some changes in what I expectof myself. You see, while I may be sort of joking when I tell peolple about living in ” the land of good enough” in terms of everyday things…I realize I tend to apply this mantra to other choices of greater importance far too often. I don’t want to miss God given oppertunites to honor Him just because I am happy in my “land of good enough”.
That faint “creeeeek” you just heard is the sound of me slowly pushing open the very heavy gate to my “land of good enough”. As I peek out to examine the world beyond, the “land of my God is big enough” please join me. I hope you’ll share my challenge to live beyond the mediocre, expect the best of myself and the best of my Lord and leave the “land of good enough”.
It’s interesting that you should post on this topic today. I’m currently reading “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. It’s actually written for teens, but I’m gaining much from it. You make a good point that it’s important to know what the Bible says – and doesn’t say – about the focus of our efforts. Unless we know that, we really think we’re making reasonable choices rather than sinful ones. And I have to agree that that gate you mention is very heavy!
Teri, I am glad you do Tuesdays, because it is my most difficult day. It is the day I do something for God that is very hard for me. It seems to be the same thing that You do so beautifully, and that is put your thoughts on paper for all to hear and read. I stuggle with most every word. You are right in saying thoughif we settle for the easy, we can miss His very Best for us in that effort. I believe God calls us to step up and go where we have to stretch to get there. If we give Him our hands , He does the equiping. I needed to hear that today.I am glad I read this before I started I believe I will be able to let Him do the writing now. Thanks for the thought!
In my younger days, “your world of good enough”, was not in my realm of thought. Over the years I have begun to get very comfortable in that world. Now, you have shocked me into reevaluating this easier place. Maybe the woodwork won’t be my initial focus, but Relationships, Bible Study, and Prayer needs a little more upkeep!