Deacon Blog February 27, 2021
I Don’t have to be perfect…
A gentle warning here… this blog is for all the young people in our lives. If you are a parent, grand-parent, teacher, priest or deacon, or have young people in your life, I suggest you read this letter with them, but it is a message addressed to the youth. “You do not have to be perfect to be Loved”. The adults in your life (who are not perfect either) may have long forgotten what they felt as teens when it seemed as if nothing they could do was right or pleasing for the older folks around them, especially at school and church. Occasionally, what we say comes across as, “These are the good choices”. Problem is, few of us feel totally capable of reaching these “bench marks” ourselves, no matter how we tried. In-spite of our best efforts. I want to say something right up front to all of you…despite anything adults have said or how their words were interpreted … NOTHING you do or say can affect how much GOD LOVES YOU. Even if we deny HE exists, even then the “separation” only occurs with us (humanity). Not GOD. That ‘door’ can only be locked from our side.
Many times, I have been told by young people (and I remember feeling this way myself) that it feels as if they’re being judged all the time and by everyone. This is a legitimate feeling because we use the term ‘judgement’ a lot, but it is a word and concept that is too often misappropriated and misunderstood. Scripture may tell us that GOD alone should judge, but that context is within our private relationship with HIM. In other words, only GOD knows us well enough to judge. As the Church, we speak of Christ’s teachings, who is our Way for living, because our Creator knows the best way for us to be happy, find peace, and to perfectly understand the meaning and purpose of our lives. GOD wants what we want. The Way of Jesus is our Goal, not a condition for being loved. It’s a life-long effort that takes, well…, a life-long effort. The Father knows the precise path to find true happiness and joy, because HE made us. What we perceive, all too often as our flaws or short-comings, are in-fact specific and unique gifts that HE uses to Bless the world around us. Each of us is a piece in an infinitely complex design beyond our comprehension. We fit where we were designed to fit. In this understanding is found our sense of purpose and meaning.
Your parents, your Church leaders, teachers, families all experienced the same feelings of frustration, anger (sometimes), and sadness, and found a way through them. The problem is that along the way many of us lost the perspective or never gained the “language” to clearly say what we feel or what we learned along the way. It’s been easier and less complicated to just “hand out” the rules to you and monitor your progress, and by monitoring I’m really saying judging your progress, so yes that is why you feel like you do. We don’t mean to, it’s just easier and quicker than processing things with you. Whenever you experience feelings like “No matter what I do its never right”, “I’m just a screw-up”, or my personal favorite “ I know better than that, what’s wrong with me”, I want you to stop and tell yourself… “ GOD is always with me, I’m a work in progress, LOVE surrounds me”. From there, breathe deep and walk the path of kindness. You’ll never get lost.
Life isn’t easy to navigate…for anyone. It has its ups and downs for everyone and it can be complicated at times. The “right” choice is not always clear… for any of us, in any given moment. These are those moments that the teachings of Jesus are meant to guide us, because ?… HE knows what is best for us. We can always do things our own way, but, achieving happiness (or not) is the way we know if our path is the right one. Being young is especially tough, at times, because we lack perspective, even when the intelligence is there to create logic. The older crowd knows this because we traveled through these years, not that we emerged with all the wisdom, but because we’ve survived our own mistakes. We don’t mean to stifle your experiences, it’s a protection mechanism that kicks in. We want you safe and we want you Happy.
Just know this, the great adventure of life awaits you. Trust me, it’s more than the “teen years” long. You are special, beyond your imagination, in GOD’s eyes, and are wonderfully made for your journey and You are Enough. Don’t give up on HIM because HE wants to walk every step and shuffle with you. I apologize if the adults (including me) have not expressed this clearly to you. Maybe we just forgot due to the busyness and stress of our own lives. Maybe we never learned this properly in the first place. Every day is a “reset” on this path. If you are serious about being happy, let HIM guide you. You will discover the peace and happiness of your longing.
Okay, for you adults, on good authority you have GOD’s permission to be happy as well.
GOD Bless You ALL