I have a confession to make. I am a closet perfectionist. OK, maybe not even a closet one but a full blown perfectionist. Couple that trait along with some tendencies to be a people pleaser as well. One of those traits alone can cause lots of stress but when you put them together, look out. This is something I have tried to work on for many years now. I am getting better about it, but sometimes one or both of these will still show up in my life. My family is usually the ones that suffer the most when I let my perfectionism run wild. I am blessed that they will usually forgive me once i realize what I am doing and ask for their forgiveness. Perfection is not something that can ever be attained. We deceive ourselves into thinking that if we just try harder, we will become perfect. In all of the world’s history, there has only been one perfect person, Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:18 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
I make most of our travel arrangements when we go on a mission trip. I really enjoy searching for the best deals on flights and the best routes. I love to plan. But unfortunately, when I plan a trip I begin to imagine all the details coming together. I form a picture in my head of how everything will turn out during the trip. As you can expect, that is not the way things will be in reality. Flights get delayed, people get sick, luggage gets lost and a million other things that can go wrong on a mission trip to destroy that perfect trip I had planned.
I remember one such trip in particular. It was one of our trips to Kenya. We had everything planned out and the team was set to go. We were about to purchase our tickets that had been on hold for a while. This is one of the last steps in the process and locks everything into place for the trip. It was about 6 weeks until our departure date. Then a terrorist incident happened in Kenya and all the airlines cancelled their flights into Kenya. The flights remained cancelled for a few months by the time it was all over. In the mean time, Mrs. Perfection went into overdrive with stress trying to figure out what to do. We had all the funds raised, time off work was planned, the team was excited and now what would we do. We prayed about what God wanted us to do. God was able to provide another place for us to go during the same time period with the same group of people. In fact, we had another group join our team to form an even bigger team. It was not the trip I had planned in my mind. But God had a much better idea for our trip and He does know best. It was a wonderful trip and I am so grateful for the opportunities that were provided. God taught me a lot during the new trip but especially about learning to rely on Him and not on my own plans. We ended up adopting a very special verse during that time.
Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
I try to always recall this verse when I feel myself trying to control a situation. God knows such a better way than I can ever plan for in my life. I still have times were I slip back into old habits but I am learning and trying. I trust God to continue to work with me. I am not perfect. The trips we take will never be perfect. The God I serve is the perfect one and I can trust Him to work out all the details.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”