Martha Stewart does it all. She cleans, she paints (after meticulous preparation), she organizes according to season, and creates perfect parties. She is amazing; we admire her. And, if you’ve ever watched her on the telly, she uses this word: “perfect.” Looking at the televised and internet narratives, it seems an apropos term. Perfect. It’s all truly impressive.

A color coordinated crayon box is as close to perfection as I've ever gotten. A story for another time…

A color coordinated crayon box is as close to perfection as I’ve ever gotten. A story for another time…

My husband has made the point that Martha has things I don’t: years of experience in her craft, a persistent drive toward building a financial empire, and (perhaps most critically) a staff of people to do her bidding. True. (Note to self: Get staff.)

Back to our topic of meditation. I am far from perfect. You are not perfect (I hope). Martha herself is not perfect. And yet, we Believers are called to “enter in” to God’s perfect presence.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

How does this all relate? I in my imperfection am called to present myself to the Lord, trusting in the grace given me by Jesus. In the act of coming before him through meditation, I’m working out some faith. That inexact effort looks like something like this: sitting on the couch with my Bible after a restless night, I doze off. Jerking awake, there is a bit of frustration that I’m not truly ‘present’ in this effort. Read some of the same Scripture again, ask for revelation, meditate with eyes open. I get up and walk, asking for focus. Sometimes it works; sometimes not.

Another day, I’m sitting in the same place, with the same tattered Bible open. Distracted. Things to do start crowding my thoughts. Right, then. I pick up a piece of scrap paper and pen. “Milk, eggs, cocoa…” “…email to…” “…review J’s history project.” Done. I’ve tried to displace those distractions and turn again to meditate.

The scene is the next morning, back in the same place. A friend’s marriage, our finances, or a child’s distress are weighing heavily. But the God of all creation,

Who made everything I see,

Who created time and space,

Who is beyond able to do more than I can ask or imagine

is waiting there for me. And if I can set all of this down and present this person/situation/weight to Him, I am able to then offer Him my worship.

And meditate, and be changed in His presence.

Do you see? Our perfection in the practice of meditation isn’t really the point. Yes, I do what I know to do to set myself up for success in this endeavor. Meditating day in and day out, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so much, provides opportunities for us to be changed, slowly, into the image of Christ.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi

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