I often tell people that I am a B+ mother and I have a B+ marriage, and they always laugh. They think I am joking. I am not. They think, Who want to be a B+? Be an A!
Not me. I strive to be a B+. I strive to be very good, not perfect. Because I know that very good is possible, while perfect is not.
I did not know this from the get-go. It took me a while to learn. For example, in the first few years of marriage I thought that anytime the tiniest thing was awry in the relationship, we were on our way to divorce. I had this naive belief that any marriage that was less than perfect was doomed.
Had I been paying more attention in Hebrew school when I was younger, I would have spared myself a lot of anxiety. In the first few chapters of the Bible, we learn that God created the world in six days, and on the seventh day God rested. After the first day, when God separated the light from darkness, He saw the light as good. On the second day, God made no comment. On the third day, when God created the earth and the seas, He saw what He created as good again. On the fourth day, when God created the stars and the sun and placed them in the sky to shine upon the earth, He saw it as good again. And even on the fifth day, when God created the animals, He saw it as good. But on the sixth day, when God created man, he said, “This is not good.” Right away, God realized that creating Adam without a companion was a mistake because Adam was so lonely. In an attempt to go from not good to at least better, He created Eve to be Adam’s companion and then He blessed the two of them. Then, in an attempt to summarize all the work of the past few days, “God saw all that He had made and found it very good.”
God did not say that everything was perfect. In adding the “very” to the phrase after a long week of work, God was telling us that we do not need to aim for perfect. God was telling us that it is enough to strive to end each day able to say “good” and some days “very good.”
I don’t imagine God beating Himself up or thinking He was a failure for not creating the perfect world on His first attempt. And neither should we beat ourselves up for not immediately choosing the perfect room or reaching the perfect destination.
God teaches us that we must keep moving forward, even when the choices are not great and the outcomes seem far from perfect. Because only when we let go of the myth of perfection can we begin to enjoy and embrace all the very good opportunities, experiences, and adventures that lie ahead.