By Rosanna Bauman
So it’s a new year, and 1 probably ought to make some sort of resolutions to help me be a better person. This year, I think I’ll make a New Year’s Resolution to be Un-Perfect. Seriously. It would improve my’ character to respect my imperfections. This declaration is based off of a year of questioning perfection’s place.
At the beginning of 2015, our family bought a dying business :the Butcher Block. We didn’t have a lot of resources to help pull it out of the weeds, and we didn’t even know that much about the business of butchering and cutting beef. So, yes, 2015 has been a big teaming curve for us. “Learning Curve” is actually just a nice way of saying “messing up because we really don’t know what we ’re doing. ” The former owners of the Butcher Block had gotten a bad reputation, and farmers around no longer trusted them. After we took over, customers were asking us for promises that we wouldn’t mess up their cutting instructions, or mix up their meat. We couldn’t promise them that we wouldn’t make the same mistakes, because we were new, and we knew that the learning curve would include mistakes. We could only tell them what systems we were implementing to hopefully prevent the problems. For some people that wasn’t enough. They wanted promises. This was really frustrating. Why is doing my very best not enough? One day I spent nearly an hour on the phone calming a customers fears. We had done the right thing with his meat but had forgotten to call and tell him when we were cutting it. I had
written a reminder note down, but I should have put the note in a more visible location. I’m human, I’m flawed, and I’ll make mistakes. This is really being illustrated right now as I am going through a Food Safety Assessment with the USDA.The investigation officer spends seven days looking over every scrap of paper from the last 90 days and criticizing every action, every conjunction, and every – adjective that I wrote in my food safety plan or recorded on my charts. It’s stressful because they only accept perfection, and,of course perfection isn’t possible.
But then, do I expect others to be perfect? Or do I understand when they make mistakes? At a restaurant, when they deliver the wrong food, do I exclaim “I ‘II never go back there again!” ? When someone gives me the wrong change, do I think that they did it intentionally? So, obviously, I need to make a second resolution: “To be charitable towards others even when their imperfections affect my life and plans.” Perhaps the problem is not with perfection, but how I view it. If none of us in perfect, why are we still expecting perfection? Probably because this world would be rather terrible if none of us tried to improve! “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect. ” Oh. Perfection’s prerequisite is patience, huh? Well, no wonder I’m far from perfect!
A self-described perfectionist friend of mine gave me a scared look and promptly exited the room
when I shared my idea for a New Year’s resolution. She already knows how many mistakes I make and she sure didn’t want to give me an excuse to make
more. Well, okay. Maybe un-perfect does have a bad sound to it.What I really mean by having an un-perfect year is recognizing that I can never be
perfect enough myself. In my continual quest for improvement I don’t often realize where perfection comes from. Only when I stop to recognize that perfection comes from God will I be willing to turn my imperfect ways over to God so he can fix them.
Perhaps, even better than my resolution to respect my own un-perfectness, I should choose a “Verse for the Year” such as this selection from the Psalms: “the Lord will peJect that which concerneth me… ” 2016: the year of Imperfect Me following a Perfect God.