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Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

I'm writing this at what I hope is the tail end of a six hour argument between my twins, who have learned a new coding language and are debating the creative design of the new app they're creating. I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. But I do understand the tones of voice, the hurt and disappointment and worry, the excitement and creativity. And the huge learning they are doing — not about programming in Swift & C-sharp, but the lesson they are learning about the work of creative collaboration. Which sometimes involves compromise, even disappointment, but also new wonders that can only come about through the constraints of having to work together. "Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good," I was taught in seminary. It's a good and liberating lesson for those of us frozen by perfectionism. I'd argue it's also the running theme of Paul's epistles as well, though there's a thesis requiring more than an eMag. Perfection lies with God — and while we offer to God our best, aiming to create our own perfection leaves no room for Grace. Striving instead for the common good, even when it steers a few degrees north or south of where we think Perfection lies, gives the Holy Spirit room to work. She is full of surprises, and leads us to places we would never manage, nor even imagine, left to our own narrow understanding of perfection. Or as W.H. Auden so wonderfully puts it: He is the Way. Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness; You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures. He is the Truth. Seek Him in the Kingdom of Anxiety; You will come to a great city that has expected your return for years. He is the Life. Love Him in the World of the Flesh; And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy. Devin

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