When my best isn’t good enough

I drive away, relief in solitude allowing at last the fractured bits of self to bend, snap. I break, rivulets forming, flowing.

I tried so hard. I did my best.

The light shifts from red to green, right foot automatically pedaling gas. The car needs little direction to stay the course.

I’m angry. Hot tears blend with flushed cheeks and I’m a wet mess behind the wheel, cocooned in the isolating frenzy of traffic. Inwardly I pace the courtroom, crafting arguments, anticipating the prosecution’s allegations, demanding the verdict that will grant me the justice I deserve. Good.

When we’ve done all we could and it’s rejected as insufficient…

When our intentions are misconstrued…

When we received blame instead of the praise we crave…

When our very hearts are questioned and misperceived…

When our very best, quite simply, is not good enough…

what then?

My foot slides gently to the brake and I turn right, just as I hear the sound of a gavel hitting wood.

Guilty.

Even my best intentions are an alloy of love and self-interest. I do nothing that is not tinged with sin, tainted with self. My very hands lack the capacity for purity, just as my heart cannot truly love another as it ought.

I see myself scrambling, grasping at filthy rags, seeking to cover my nakedness, longing to be declared covered. But first, I must admit that these rags will never truly clothe. Ashamed, I see my lack for what it is…but then, I remember:

Praise to the Lord/Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee/Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee/Ponder anew/What the Almighty can do/If with His love He befriend thee?

Be then, clothed in Christ…

Swiftly, I pull into a parking spot and begin to laugh. The darkness dissipates as I sink into the lightness of worship. My eyes are lifted and I truly see my freedom: my best will never be good enough, but His has always been.

From the desk of Stephanie Roth, Classes & Residency Director