You Don't Have to Be Good At Everything

Recently, I tried to upload final grades for my college classes, but I faced one glitch: I couldn't find the secure ID token needed to login to the university's system.  Now, I've kept that token in the same place for nine years -- a small, securely zippered pocket in my work bag -- and I've returned that token to the pocket every single time I've submitted my grades.

Friends, I scoured that work bag and examined every crevice.  I overturned my work space at home and searched every conceivable hiding spot in my office on campus. 


Conceding defeat, I sheepishly contacted my department's staff assistant to request a new token.  I filled out the necessary paperwork, returned to my office, unzipped my work bag's secure pocket, dropped in the new token, and then looked -- and looked again -- at the bottom of the pocket where the old token was sitting.

I don't know what was more embarrassing: admitting that I lost the token in the first place, or admitting that I really hadn't lost the token, after all, and that I simply have exceptionally poor seeking skills.

You see, I like to think that I'm an organized person.  I pride myself on being punctual, knowing where things are, staying on top of paperwork and correspondence, crossing my t's, and dotting my i's.

But I don't always have my act together.  Even mostly organized people have moments of disorganization, and even thoughtful people have moments of forgetfulness.

The list goes on.  Generous people have moments of selfishness.  Smart people have moments of idiocy.  Kind people have moments of unkindness.  Good parents have moments of bad parenting.  We're not always good at everything.

Let me repeat in a slightly different way: You don't have to be good at everything. 

You do realize this, right?

As I age, I'm learning to view my failures and shortcomings and mishaps with less self-criticism and more self-awareness.  This hasn't necessarily been easy, but my imperfections highlight that only One is perfect.  My failures humble me.  They reinforce that I don't need to earn God's approval by some arbitrary standard of my own performance.

No, I don't have to be good at everything.  I'm loved, forgiven, and known by Jesus.  It is His performance and righteousness -- not mine -- that secures my good standing.

Friends, there are many things that I'm not good at.  Take gift wrapping, for instance:

The sad part is that I tried to be neat and precise.  I really did.  I come by this paper-folding incompetence naturally.

My identity is secure, which is more than I can say for that wrapping paper.  I'm a child of God, and I don't have to be good at everything.

Neither do you.

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  1. Nice post! :)

  2. Oh Robin... you always know how to say the right thing at the right time. I am far from perfect but because of Christ's sacrifice, I am seen by God as perfect. That's all that should matter right? Occasionally I need to remind myself of this victory and back away from wrapping a gift for the second or third time (yes... I do that).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  3. Jesus' transfer of righteousness is such a marvelous mystery, isn't it? And way to let it go with the re-wrapping! (You're so healthy!!) :)

  4. Fabulous post! You know, where were you a year ago when I was struggling with this then? lol! It's a wonderful day when you no longer allow unrealistic expectations to steal your joy anymore.

  5. Shar, thanks so much! And I'm glad to hear that you're in a better place this year!

  6. Today I hit a car backing out in the Chickfila parking lot. This is the 2nd time in about 2 years time that I've hit a car - in a parking lot. Apparently parking lots are my archnemesis.

    So reading this post was timely. Because I so wanted to kick myself - curse myself for not being a better pulling-in-and-backing-out-of-a-parking-space-er. I felt like a big fat failure.

    Thanks for reminding me that I'm not defined by such stupid accidents - nor by the stupid people that hold up the drive through line for 45 freaking minutes to file a police report for a 2 inch scratch on their vehicle.

  7. April, if it makes you feel any better, I once drove into a shopping cart corral in a parking lot -- a huge, well-lit, visible, mammoth, highly-obvious (did I mention BIG?) shopping cart corral. It's such a miserable feeling!
    Alas, you're NOT a failure. We've all been there, and I'm sorry that this happened to you today! Hang in there!


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