4.24.2010

fighting the not-good-enoughs

I don't care who you are or what you've accomplished in life, the not-good-enough demons have struck you.

At least, I know that they have struck my closest friends, my dearest family, and me one-thousand time over. I can sometimes sense their impending arrival like the darkening, dampening, and still pre-storm sky. Then always suddenly and surprisingly they are there, shouting at the top of their lungs in my very voice, that I have yet to do anything good enough. (Question: How did they perfect that voice imitation? And can I go to that acting school??)

Theologically, it's true. It was the not-good-enough demons that locked Martin Luther in his personal despair, confessing for hours upon hours in his young monastic life. The reality of being human is that some of our noses are big and crooked, some of us can't sit to read a book if it killed us, and others have the coordination of Steve Urkel. We aren't good enough.

I'm not good enough. I'm just... not.

But that's only telling half of the story. The other half is the supernatural part, the part that exceeds all expectations of good-enough.

I have to remind myself that it is because of the not-good-enoughs that Good Friday ever came to pass. Peter had a serious bout of the not-good-enoughs on Good Friday. He walked away from his friend, the guy he was pretty sure was the Messiah. Not only was he guilty of denying the faith, he was a bad, not-good-enough friend.

Sometime after the resurrection, Jesus made breakfast on the beach with the disciples. Jesus sat with Peter and he didn't rehash the denial details. He didn't get in on the salacious gossip of who else hid in fear. Jesus looked forward. Jesus looked at Peter in love, in his eyes he saw good-aplenty. Jesus saw in Peter a man ready to share that good-aplenty. Jesus refused to hear the not-good-enough voices and trusted Peter to feed his lambs.

Thank goodness, John told us that story, told ME that story. I will likely never be good enough by my carefully constructed self-standards, but I trust that God's view of my worth has little to do with me and everything to do with The Good-Aplenty.

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