For our first married Christmas together, Taylor gifted me three things:
A white-out marker,
a set of black inky ball-point pens,
and a king size Snickers bar.
Not many would guess at it by the state of my messy home, but I'm somebody who recklessly tries for perfection on the daily. I like straight, orderly lines. I like my day calendar to be written out precisely at the correct hour. When I create, whether it baking or painting, I don't like "wasting time" by making mistakes that hinder the process of building something great.
My distaste for mistakes is equivalent to my love for inky ball-point pens. These are the kind that dripped specks of ink and gloss oh-so-wonderfully through pages in my notebook. Inky pens are what make handwriting exciting. Although "time wasting mistakes" are frowned upon, I do feel a little more freedom in being playful with pens, because that white out marker hide away any discrepancies. It can make my work look almost "perfect".
Funny word that is. "Perfect".
There are two kinds of perfect.
The other form of Perfect is completely the opposite of White-Out Perfect. This is the kind that purifies. It takes out the ink and improves what was there before.
Christ gave us a pretty hefty commandment, when He instructed us to "be perfect, even as I am". But when I look at His life, I don't see anything that insinuates perfection as having a healthy dinner on the table each night at 6 PM or making the Dean's list every semester. Both of those ideals are great goals to strive for, but they don't make me feel any more connected to Christ.
No, I think Christ meant the kind of perfection that changes our core beings. I think He meant being perfectly kind, humble, and sacrificial, to name a few. As far as I know, Christ the only one who has fully conquered these attributes.
Heaven knows how far I am from conquering these values. Taylor, too.
"Perfect" is too vast for my understanding, so for now I'll settle for being "better." I want to be more generous. I want to talk less and listen more. I want people to know that they are valued by me. I want to be a source of light.
I guess I'm not terribly concerned with changing the globe, but I am very interested in improving the welfare of my people.
Though my actions won't change the masses of the globe, it will improve my world. And I'm not the only one. This season, many will be taking their own interpretations of the call to "Light the World", and improve their own corners of the globe.
And you know what? No matter your religion (or even lack of!), you ought to give this a go. Your light is needed, too.
Accompanying that inspirational video is an advent calendar. The calendar has 25 different daily theme ideas to Christlike service this season. I stress "ideas" because that's all what they are: good ideas amongst the other thousands of good ideas to make the holidays a little more special.
Maybe by the end, we'll turn out a little less concerned with using white-out to hide our mistakes, and be a little more pure instead.