The Perfect Leaf

I am on a quest for the perfect autumn leaf.  Billions of brightly colored leaves are falling all about me and somewhere lying on the ground waiting to be found is a perfect leaf of pure red or pure gold.  This afternoon while blowing golden leaves out of my yard my heart thrilled as I reached down to quench my quest.  But alas this bright red leaf I plucked from the pile of gold was flawed.  It had tiny specks of black amidst its crimson field.  I feel like quoting Joyce Kilmer with just a twist. “I think that I shall never see a leaf as perfect as can be.”  It was Voltaire who wrote, “Perfection is the enemy of the good.”  There in my hand was an almost perfect leaf but my mind was not satisfied.  My quest for perfection devalued this marvelous work of art.

Could it be that we do the same with people?  Jesus’ mother Mary had to be an incredibly marvelous person to be selected by heaven for her important task.  But as wonderful as she was there were always those who whispered, “Yes, but she was pregnant before she was married.”   I have sat on committees where someone was passed over for a promotion because we knew of a tiny flaw in his life.  We then hired someone we really didn’t know and ended up with twenty flaws.

The Book of Job begins, “And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”   Alas, as the story unfolds Job was not perfect, almost but not.  We shall give only Jesus the praise for perfection.

Written by Roger Bothwell on October 14, 2014

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