The Great Chase

I think it’s pretty evident by now, but let’s just say, I’m a sucker for a good inspirational quote.

Case in point: Just check the early days of my IG profile. I made those quote art images like they were going out of style.



But anywho.

The kids I nanny for got their school planners the other week, and me, being the school supply junkie that I am, of course wanted to flip through them. Fondle the crisp pages. Smell the freshly printed ink. I geeked out a little.

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But let’s be real: the best part of the planners is hands down…the cheesy inspirational quotes.

You know what I’m talking about – the images of a hang glider with something about “soaring;” or a weathered mountain climber boasting about perseverance.

And just for the record, I always tried to be as minimally cliched as possible with my images.


But I digress.

I flipped open his planner and the first quote I came across was this one:

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi.

And when I read this, I actually inadvertently let out an audible groan of disgust. The little boy was like….”Are you okay?”

But this quote absolutely made my skin crawl. Chase perfection?! Come on, Vince, you’re better than that!

Trust me, I am all for doing the best you can and working hard and striving for excellence. But chasing perfection? That is a one-way ticket to destruction. Just ask 78 lb high school me. Because that’s what I was doing: chasing perfection.

So you can imagine how my gag reflex was triggered when I read this in an elementary school planner – right there for these impressionable little minds to soak up and internalize.

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If there is one thing I’m going to teach my future kids (God willing), it is not to chase perfection.

Here’s the thing about perfection – aside from the fact that only Jesus was perfect – Perfection communicates that everything less than that unattainable standard is “not good enough.” A failure. A let down. By encouraging our kids to chase perfection, we are literally setting them up for failure.

During my anorexia, I had in my mind’s eye the notion of what I considered perfect: the body, hair, appearance, clothing, friend group, weight, BMI, etc. Couple that with crippling “people pleasing” tendencies, and there was literally no way I was going to settle for anything less.

And I nearly died trying to achieve it. #notanexaggeration

So, what should we chase?

Let’s chase God.

I know, I can hear the eye rolls.


But it’s true.

Let’s seek after His heart. His will. His face. Let’s chase after that. Because when we do – all those other things will fall into place – all those things we exhaust ourselves with when we’re striving for perfection – the self control, the integrity, the discipline, the excellence – those things will come naturally when we put our focus on chasing after Him.

I know, it’s a weird concept to think about: chasing after God. I mean, heck…shouldn’t He be chasing after meWell, yes, and He does. But God also wants to be pursued.
God is a jealous God. He tells us so in Exodus 34:14. “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord…is a jealous God.” And that verse always confused me: Jealousy is so negative. I didn’t get it.

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That is, until I went to inpatient. When I, for the first time, really sought after God.

I feel like my whole life was just kind of going through the motions of Christianity, taking for granted His love and presence in my life.

It wasn’t until I was at rock bottom, desperate for His help and grace, that I realized that God isn’t going to force Himself into my life. He doesn’t want to compete. And He won’t. He will allow me to pursue — to chase — whatever my heart desires. And during that dark time, I was chasing perfection. Chasing it all the way to death’s doorstep.

But during my pursuit – or chase – of perfection, God was always there, He was just waiting for me to chase Him. Because the second I took my eyes off of perfection and shifted my gaze to Him, that’s when the healing took place. And He swooped in and healed my brokenness. He had been waiting all along.

But I had to pursue Him.


So now, perhaps, you can understand the visceral disgust I felt when I read that “inspirational” quote in my little friend’s planner.

There is nothing good that comes from chasing perfection. And I will take that all the way to the bank.

Chasing perfection leads to bondage. Chasing God leads to freedom.

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SO EXCITED TO SHARE WITH YOU!!!

MY PUMPKIN ICE CREAM RECIPE!

I shared this (my fav food) with you in Monday’s video and I received so. many. requests. for the recipe.

SO – I made a Facebook/Tasty/Buzzfeed-style video (read: < 1 minute) of the recipe!

Hope you enjoy!


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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

214 thoughts on “The Great Chase

  1. You are a nanny?? Oh my gosh, I used to nanny and have to start up again. Waiting to hear from agency. Wow, your posts are good! Everythng you write is so true ❤ Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yea…chasing perfection is destructive. I wonder what that guy was like who came up with that quote…haha! In all seriousness I struggled with being called perfect but that paralyzed me and I would beat myself up when I made mistakes. That label is dangerous and impossible. The best we can do is reflect Christ and his ways but still remember we are HUMAN.

    Much love!

    -J

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey J! I so agree-it’s a dangerous and definitely impossible label! Yay for being human! Vince Lombardi was actually the really really famous and successful football coach for the Greenbay Packers. He’s a legend. But this quote, I was not feeling! Haha thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a delicate balance….doing well, striving for good, doing our best…and yet not succumbing to perfectionism. I agree with you that striving for perfect is a disaster in the making. But trying hard….now that I can get behind. It says there it isn’t the level of accomplishment, but the level of effort, that is important. Not even a perfect level of trying but a simple level of hard. Not super hard, not laizze faire, but just…trying hard.
    And I’m glad you no longer try to be perfect yourself 🙂 The result is that you have become perfect…in Him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. „And I’m glad you no longer try to be perfect yourself🙂 The result is that you have become perfect…in Him.“

      Well said, Jeff 🙂 That’s the christian faith in a nutshell! We become more and more perfect in and through Him, if we no longer try to be perfect through ourselves, our Ego. Ego means: Edging God Out. That doesn’t work! The problem with worldly perfectionism is, that it is loveless, self abuse of the highest order… the command of Christ „Be ye perfect“ means something absolutely different. C.S. Lewis wrotes in Mere Christianity (pp. 175-76):

      “The command ‘Be ye perfect’ is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. …If we let Him — for we can prevent Him, if we choose — He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through which such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly. His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.”

      He is going to make us !!! into god and godesses, radiant, immortal creatures, pulsating with such energy and joy and love that we cannot now imagine it. That’s the difference… 🙂

      Like

  4. Maybe you will enjoy that article:
    https://herzzentrale.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/theosis-the-heart-of-true-christianity/

    „Ask yourself: are you truly living to the fullest or only surviving in a mechanical routine? Are you realizing your dreams? Remember: we are created in the image and the likeness of the greatest Dreamer, the Infinite One Dreamer, that we can call together with Jesus Abba-Father. It is our human destiny to dream and to realize dreams, to become „partakers of the Divine“, Co-Creators together with God. We will never be perfect, but we can become the best version of ourselves. We can grow and evolve infinitely. We can become more and more like Christ.“

    Be blessed and stay tuned :),

    Mark

    Like

  5. Yeah, that quote about perfection is awful. I can’t even imagine. I chased perfection for a while, and it did nothing but make my life harder. It was horrible. So much better to chase your own goals in life.

    Also, I nominated you for a Black Cat Blue Sea Award on my blog. If you want to participate, go check it out, and let me know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voltaire said it very well: „The best is the enemy of the good“. If we want to be the best, perfect, we will never be good enough and we will miss all the good divine gifts in our life. And we will miss the opportunity of true love, because it sees the beauty of imperfection. „To love someone means to see him as God intended him.“ (Dostoyevsky) Perfectionism is without love and mercy and therefore evil, it is a demon. And it destroys the playful and joy-filled souls of childs, it distort our pure being in the image and likeness of God.

      We are not only enough, we are CHILDS OF GOD 😉

      Be blessed,

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we can „perfecting ourselves to death“ (the psychatrist Richard Winter wrote a book with that title), that is unhealthy perfectionism. But it is also important to see, that the yearning for perfection that we feel, is not only a defect, it can also be seen positively as a hint of what we were meant to be (creatures who mirrors God) and even the greatest atheist and materialist has such a yearning for love, truth and freedom. The christian perspective is, that each person is made in the image of God, but because of the Fall we know each is less than they were meant to be.

      And now we yearn for „the glorious freedom of the children of God“ (Rom 8: 18-25) and we hope that „our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us“.

      „Perfect body. Perfect clothes. Perfect family. Perfect house. Perfect job. We strive for excellence in all areas of our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with a healthy, mature pursuit of excellence. But what begins as healthy and normal can sometimes become neurotic and abnormal, leading to debilitating thoughts and behaviors:

      * eating disorders
      * anxiety and depression
      * obsession and compulsions
      * fear of failure
      * relational dysfunction
      InPerfecting Ourselves to Death, Richard Winter explores the positive and negative effects of perfectionism on our lives. He looks at the seductive nature of perfectionism as it is reflected in today’s media. He examines the price and perils of perfectionism. And he explores the roots of perfectionism, delving into what originally awakens this drive in us. After analyzing the negative feelings and defeatist behaviors that unhealthy perfectionism births, he provides practical strategies for how to change. “The important thing to see,” writes Winter, “is that we are to strive to become better people, not just to be content with who we are or how we measure up to the standards of the culture around us.” For Christians this means becoming more like Christ in every area of our lives.“

      Blessings to you,
      Mark

      Like

  6. I enjoyed your message. I was just reading my first Brother Lawrence book about keeping the focus on God, even during our mundane activities. Perfection is of no consequence if we do not pursue God in all we do. It is God we need to please, not man. Everything we do should be done to the glory of God – even cleaning toilets. He will bless you, strengthen you, comfort you. He will rock your world in ways you can not imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One saying I have always found difficult to swallow is: Practice makes perfect.It sets students up for failure. I always ask my students to try their best effort. And my revised version of the quote is: ‘Practice makes for the best job you can possibly do. That’s all I will ask of you’. Thank you. Take care.

    Like

  8. Chasing God is an adventure for sure and a tough one at that. I think the hardest thing is being comfortable in the fact that we are made in his image and a loved creation of his.We forget that and chase after things that just don’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Agree, agree, AGREE! Your little charges are blessed that you are their nanny, and your future children will be blessed with a wonderful role model and wise, loving teacher of a mother. When I read this post, my first reaction is, “Thanks a lot, Mom.” I still struggle with so much anger, hate, and blame toward my parents and the way they raised me, and my mom was (and is) the perfectionist’s perfectionist. When I listen to her now and remember her then, my teeth clench, my face scrunches, my toes curl, and I literally get a pain in my chest. Then, I hate myself for holding onto my bitterness and resentment, because, you know, I’m a perfectionist, and not only do I expect my parents to be perfect, I expect myself to be perfect at accepting, forgiving, and loving them in their imperfection. What a trap. It is a death trap, and I’ve felt my heart particularly shriveling up since my last trip home. The only way to break the cycle is prayer and surrender, especially praying for the people who hurt me. Anyway, that’s what I was thinking of when I read your post. Sending you hugs. xoxo

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Lulu! Aw you’re so sweet. Yeah perfectionism is so hard to let go of but you’re right-prayer and surrender is the way to break free. It’s so awesome that you’re recognizing that:) sending massive hugs my friend. Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  10. O.k. late response but I do like the recovery allowing you to be who you’d always been… I only gave up chasing perfection a couple of months ago in favor of chasing God. The concept of trying to be perfect consumed me and the guilt of not being able to attain it destroyed me….

    Like

  11. Here’s the thing though, God is perfection. Our natural drive is to seek to be like God. Sometimes, that can be a bad thing (see Genesis), but sometimes it can be a good thing. In Colossians 1, Paul talks about standing before God without blemish through the sacrifice of Jesus. It is important to note, of course, that our pursuit of perfection is meaningless if Jesus isn’t involved, guiding us and covering our blemishes. I read a really nice article about how we exhibit this drive to be like God through creativity. Let me know if I can post a link to the article here.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with you that chasing perfection leads to all kinds of downfalls. When I sought my own burner name in 2013 I finally chose Lloyd The great, just for that reason. I don’t really want to be perfect or the best or whatever, but I do seek to be great, just great, that’s all. better than just OK, and notable. Have a great day. Llove Lloyd

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My father was a perfectionist and trying to outrun that kind of upbringing is tough, if not impossible, to do without God. Thanks for the reminder to chase after Him and make that my focus in life. 💒😇😄

        Like

  13. I don’t think I could have said it better even if I tried. I am sitting here getting ready for church and my praise is about to rise out of my bones. I have had such a up and down week that I often questioned why, what, how come. But, it is the moment that this said it best. Chasing perfection…bondage. Chasing God…freedom thank you for the like and this amazing clarity 💋ChrysseD

    Like

  14. I liked this Quote a lot: “If there is one thing I’m going to teach my future kids (God willing), it is not to chase perfection”. I like the positive vibe that you have when using the words: My Future Kids. It is so nice that you are considering having kids and be with them and for them always.

    Great post, thank you for sharing. I hope you would read mine and give share with me your thoughts on it.
    https://nbrijay.com/2016/10/14/when-i-wake-up-from-this-bad-dream/

    Like

  15. Reblogged this on Special Creation Woman and commented:
    Until halfway through the article, I actually loved the quote this author was dissecting. And then I got it. This is where my life has gone so wrong for so many years. When we chase God, excellence often creeps in. But perfectionism is a quick slide to a hellish existence. Wish I had known that years earlier. Sigh!

    Like

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