Chiseled to Perfection

Credits: accademia.org
Credits: accademia.org

The Statue of David is perfect.
The Prisoners that line the hall leading to the Statue of David are not.

Credits: accademia.org
Credits: accademia.org

There is work to be done on them. Inside each block of half-chiseled rough stands a perfect statue waiting to emerge. All that each one needs is the sculptor to remove the clutter, the rubbish, anything that hides the perfect form. As Michelangelo saw David in the block of marble before he picked up the chisel, so God sees the beauty in each one of us. Chisel me, Lord, a little at a time, until I am the perfect me. (1)

What if everyone in church said that?

I attend a great church. The pastor is kind. The people are friendly. The music is awesome! But we are not yet perfect, we are still being chiseled into the beings God sees.

I’m guessing your church is the same way. Or maybe your church is perfect like the Statue of David. Let’s see…

In a perfect church pastors would:
– understand a churchgoer as well as God understands him.
– preach and/or teach so that a churchgoer can easily understand and comprehend any and all Biblical doctrine, theses, and principles needed to live a Godly, successful life here and be translated into Heaven when he expires.
– know that a churchgoer cannot remain attentive for a sixty-minute sermon, nor can he sit still for that long.
– live lives above reproach, and be a positive influence.
– never, ever get tired, frustrated, or angry.
– always be considerate, pleasant, and cheerful.

and the music leaders would:
– structure the musical presentations so the churchgoer worships, prays, is inspired to give tithes and offerings, dedicates himself to the mission field, and is strengthened every Sabbath.
– make sure the singers are always on-key, never forget the words, and worship.
– keep his or her own mind healthy by safeguarding against any and all negative influences coming from worldly music, social media, ungodly peers, and activities away from the church.
– arrive early, clean, well-dressed, with a Godly spirit, each Sabbath.

and each of the churchgoers would:
– easily understand, comprehend, and PRACTICE, any and all Biblical doctrine, theses, and principles needed to live a Godly, successful life here and be translated into Heaven when he expires.
– volunteer.
– upon arriving at church, quickly and easily dismiss any social or emotional problem that may have occurred during the week, so he can focus on worship.
– bring a Bible, either hard-copy or electronic.
– always be willing to give when a need is presented.
– never gossip, even about prayer requests.
– always remain cheerful, cooperative, and excited about church.

I’m sure you could add to each list ideas that make church perfect for you. In reality though,there are no perfect pastors, music leaders, or churchgoers. God is not finished with us yet. And church can get a little messy with all the chipped pieces and dust flying around!

Let us focus on the beautiful aspects God has already fashioned, not on the unfinished parts. And certainly not on the dust and chipped pieces God has removed. Let the Holy Spirit blow them away.

By the marvelous grace of a perfect God, we are loved in spite of our unchiseled parts. And by this same grace, as we head toward perfection in Christ, we ought to support each other in prayer and offer understanding and consideration during the process.

“My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! “(‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭11-12‬ MSG)

(1)  Paraphrased from Unglued, by Lysa TerKeurst. (Zondervan, 2012)

 

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In a Perfect World…

Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a perfect world?

I know for me, the school day would not be so messy in a perfect world because…

teachers would:
– understand a child as well as his parent understands him.
– know that a child has soccer, football, baseball, or basketball, FFA, 4-H, cheerleading, church activities, and chores, so they do not assign homework.
– teach so that a child can easily understand, comprehend, or calculate any and all skills needed to score a high mark on the state test.
– grade every paper the same day it is done by a child to give timely feedback.
– understand that a child is human and should be allowed to have his “moments.”
– know that a child cannot sit that still for fifty minutes and should allow movement at will around the room.
– maintain control in the classroom.
– live lives above reproach, and be a positive influence.
– never, ever get tired, frustrated, or angry.
– always be considerate, pleasant, and cheerful.

and parents would:
– structure the home so their child has a good night’s sleep (8-10 hours) every night and is fed highly nutritious, very delicious meals every day.
– make sure their child maintains optimum health with yearly check-ups and regular visits with a doctor and a dentist.
– keep their child’s mind healthy by safeguarding against any and all negative influences coming from music, video games, peers, and activities away from the home.
– assure that their child is up early, clean, well-dressed, well-fed, and at school on time each day.
– keep their child’s school supplies on hand, so he always has paper, pencils, highlighters, a dictionary, a planner, and books.
– check their child’s homework and discuss it with him.
– keep up with the current information, trends, and events in all subject areas, so they can give up-to-date information and help with homework and projects.

and students would:
– learn any skill, presented in any way, no matter the type of learners they are.
– do every assignment on time, every time.
– complete a long assignment in a short time because they are focused and alert.
– easily understand, comprehend, or calculate any and all skills needed to score a high mark on the state test.
– quickly and easily dismiss any social or emotional problem that may occur during a school day, so they can focus on academics.
– always have any and all supplies needed for any assignment given.
– arrive at school on time, every day, properly dressed with completed homework in hand.
– always be cheerful, cooperative, and excited about each assignment given.

Unfortunately, there are no perfect teachers, parents, or students. The school day can get a little messy, but it is truly wonderful that we support each other by showing understanding and consideration for one another’s “imperfections.”

You are AWESOME!

You are Awesome!
I know it!
You know it!
Now, let’s prove it to the world.

I haven’t met
my students yet.
So how do I know
they are awesome?

Because each one is made
in the image of God, and
Each one has something
to offer our world.

Who will figure out the next agricultural miracle,
So that famines are unheard of?
Who will uncover the mysteries of the past
to solve the problems of today?

Who will discover the cure for cancer?
Or lupus? Or diabetes?
Who will determine how to eradicate mental disorders
like depression and others we can’t pronounce?

By the grace of God, someone will.
No, not now.
Later,
when they have matured.

After I and many others
have nurtured and taught them
how to think
deeply and critically,

And taught them not to give up
when the task is difficult,
But to plow through,
and find the answers.

Yes, I am convinced.
By Gods grace,
someone will
find the answers.

And I may be seeing them next Monday.
With eyes full of wonder.
Not theirs… mine.
Monday, the first day of school.

This Teacher’s Prayer

Lord,

As we begin a new school year,
Remind me that You placed me here.

Let me be who You want me to be,
And You in me, my students see.

Let me be light in the dark for some,
For those too serious, let me be fun.

For those who are different, let them see,
That being different is an opportunity

To show the world divergent views,
And maybe the cure for cancer, too.

Help me to make what’s learned in class,
Life-long lessons, ones that last.

And when the year’s over, finals declared.
Let them remember that this teacher cared.