Saturday, December 11, 2021

Choose Purpose Over Perfect


The streak is 53 weeks! I have used some aspect of the Peloton fitness system weekly for over a year. The bike was a gift covering multitudes of holiday and birthday remembrances from last year to eternity. Along with cycling, Peloton offers yoga, strength training, running, meditation, power walking, etc.  The variety of opportunities have not only expanded my workouts, but have had a positive influence on my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. A recent meditation mantra provided by instructor Kristin McGee was, "Choose purpose over perfection." This stuck in my mind like velcro to wool.

As of late the media has been flooded with broadcasts, stories, and images providing tips and tricks on how to have the "perfect" holiday whether that be decorations, foods, gifts, or gatherings. These reports are juxtaposed with media news on how damaging social media images are to a person's self-esteem. Images that have been modified to show perfection not only in body shape and size, but cooking, clothing, skin condition, etc. are prolific. How does a person even consider purpose (the what and why) when perfection is the marketing tool of choice?  Mix this into the context of high fuel prices, climate change, inflation at a 39 year high, another Covid-19 variant, out of stock items and chaos swirls like a kite in a cyclone.  No wonder perfection sells. It is nonexistent yet marketed as possible.

My favorite grocery store is indicated by the image. It is small. It has good fruits and vegetables.The selection of what I need is adequate. I can get in and out quickly. And my overall diet has not suffered due to lack of selection. Yes, food is enjoyable as a creative art. Yet, its purpose is to provide nutrients and energy to keep me functioning. Thus I do not need multiple varieties of Mt Dew, a 100 foot aisle of snack foods, or more pasta sauce than I care to consider to make me feel complete and satisfied.

Ponder for a moment the Hebrew creation story. Humankind was in Paradise. In other words, everything was perfect. No body image issues. No food issues. No ego concerns. No mention of decorations for their home. All this external perfection, yet they desired something more. Were they looking for purpose and meaning as they chomped into the fruit? It seems following this action humankind has been in search of perfection oftentimes neglecting their purpose.

As it is the season for the Christian birth narrative I cannot find mention of perfection. The cast of characters from Zechariah+Elizabeth to shepherds and Magi all have a purpose, but are devoid of perfection. The purpose is to show us that God desires to remain involved in our human theater, even when lines are forgotten, cues are neglected, and we go totally off script. To me the image of "perfection" during Christmas is a romanticized addition to sell an image and feeling, not to embrace reality. Such imagery is like having a Peloton and using it for photo opportunities to post on social media. 

We have numerous choices every day. I will continue to allow that mantra to stick like velcro in my mind, "Choose purpose over perfect."