The magazine is called MORE. I forgot the name of the actress being interviewed. Achieving success after 15 years she was respected and admired; happily married after the age 30 and now a mother. She had chosen to step back from the industry expressing her content with “life is good”, but the interviewer was questioning, why? Don’t you want more? You can have both worlds. Her response? (I love this) “Why push past good?” That simple reply baffled the interviewer. The article continued on, but I don’t remember much else except that quote.
It struck me that our world pushes the envelope on everything. Be the best at everything. Excel at all costs. You won’t succeed by staying where you are and especially for women – you have to be “Super Woman – Super Mom – Super Boss – Super Girl – whatever. Where did this “I gotta be ‘Wonder Woman’ mentality” originate?
I am not suggesting that we should “settle for”, or throw in the towel if we attempt a project and we are less than successful. Obviously you cannot sit still, because if you don’t move forward you stagnate. So yes, you improve, retune, redefine, refocus, but I’m talking adjectives here. Examine advertising. A product has to go beyond good – mega, super, ultra, LX, EX…and some feel that applies to every aspect of life, career, friendship, sports, even relaxation. The world has redefined “good”.
So you attempt and perhaps attain the super life, but at what cost? Does the guilt set in to do everything better, always? Reflect on Genesis 1 and God’s satisfaction. Of course at this point you say, “Well sure God is perfect!” Bear with me. Verse 3: God saw that the light was good; verse 9: and God saw it was good; verse 14: and God saw it was good… the phrase is repeated and recorded, over and over. Finally in verse 31 my concordance reflects “that the creation, as fashioned and ordered by God, had no lingering traces of disorder…only benevolent functions, a world fashioned to bless and sustain life.”
How much of my life when I attempt to supersize everything ends up in disorder; does not bless or sustain life – because my breakneck pace affects my sleep and my attitude? I try to do it all well and succeed in not doing anything well, because some segment always suffers. It is then that I need to step back and acknowledge the gifts I have and use them well; learning where I fit into the pattern with my Christian sisters. You see, if we each did everything well, we would have no need of each other.
God created us to complement one another, learn from each other and be content. St. Paul in Phil 4:12 says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance…I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Not me, not all of the time, not my strength, but God working through me. His strength is what makes it “good”. Yes, our Father created us with emotions, talents, dreams, ambitions and He saw that as “good”. We are meant to take that and do the best we can with His strength. He encourages it.
God was content with good. He didn’t recant with, “You know, I’ve re-thought this creation thing. Let’s do a new and improved version.” Life is good and I am grateful.
Lord, teach me to step back resting in your love for all the strength and good you give me. Amen