Friday, February 6, 2009

It's Good Enough

When I was a teenager I often got stressed out about my abilities to do certain things. My parents would always say, "Just do your best" to which I would always respond, "Just because it's my best doesn't mean it's good enough." In some respects I still believe that's true. Someone else's best could always be better than our best, therefore making our best not good enough. However...
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I have determined in the last 5 1/2 months of life experience that God is not as uptight as we have sometimes made him out in our minds to be. He doesn't have a checklist or a sticker chart He's expecting us all to fill by the time our lives come to a close. He doesn't have a template that we all have to match in order to be exalted in the next life. He doesn't judge every single one of us by the exact same standards, expecting us all to achieve all the same milestones in life. I believe He will judge us all individually based on the circumstances in our lives and whether or not we did our best.
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On the last Sunday in August Matt didn't go to church. We had a couple of house guests in from LA that weekend who were collaborating with Matt on a film. Sunday morning was the last time the three of them had to powwow before the guys headed back to LA. Instead of going to church that day, they went to the studio. And you better believe I gave Matt some grief about it.
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"So you're just not going to church anymore?" I demanded, probably with my left hand firmly planted on my hip and my right arm extended dramatically. Matt just chuckled. "It's not a big deal. We just had some loose ends to tie up and that was the only time we had to do it. I'm not going to go to hell because of it. In fact, I feel really good about my relationship with the Lord."
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Exactly one week later Matt died.
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I gather a lot of strength and comfort from music of all kinds. One of my favorite songs right now is a Phil Vassar song called Prayer of a Common Man:
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Hallelujah, is anybody up there*Hallelujah, does anybody care*Life takes its toll on the heart and soul*But I'm doing the best I can*But Lord, hear the prayer of a common man*I'm not looking for charity*I just need some clarity*I've got people counting on me*And I'm tired that's all*And I'm up against the wall*Lord hear me when I call*Hallelujah, I know you're up there*Hallelujah, I know you care*Life takes its toll on a heart and soul*But I'm doing the best I can*Oh Lord, hear the prayer of a common man*Lord, hear the prayer of this common man
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In my last post I mentioned the video footage we have to help us remember Matt. Those of you who came to the visitation the day before his funeral know the video I'm talking about. It is 100% pure Matt. It's Matt sitting in front of the camera being real and charming and funny and clever and handsome and full of life. It is the Matt I fell in love with and the Matt I will show people who want to know more about him. It is the video through which Seth, who never met his father in this life, will come to know him. It is the Matt my children and I will remember and think of for the rest of our lives, and every minute of it was filmed the Sunday that Matt went to the studio instead of going to church.
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I'm starting to assume more often than I used to that the people I encounter in life are doing the best they can. And more often than not, our best really is good enough.

12 comments:

natalie said...

That is a tender mercy if I ever knew one.

Brooke said...

Wow is all I can say. I have the hugest goosebumps after reading that. What a blessing. I have said this before and I know I will say it again, but Brenda, I SO enjoy your blog. Sometimes you give us humor, sometimes cute pictures, sometimes definitions and sometimes fabulous posts like this one. Thank you! Really.

Orr Family said...

So I want to see the movie! There is a new book out called, "Chances are you are going to be Exalted." It talks about if we are doing our best, really trying then we will be ok! Anyway this post reminded me of that book. You need to write a book!!!

Erin said...

I think you should put that one on Matt's blog. I couldn't agree more. Heavenly Father is more merciful than we often make him out to be.

Julie said...

Brenda, thanks for your words of wisdom. I will read it often when I need to remember to just do my best to get through this hard time. Thanks.

Becky said...

Love you lots! And YES! cheesecake for dessert, for sure.

mbunker said...

Did I ever tell you how smart I think you are? It is an awesome movie... I am so glad that you have it.

Sami said...

Thank you so much for posting this inspiring message. Love ya!

Jill said...

I agree with Brooke, I love your blog! I know we haven't kept in touch but I have fond memories of playing together when we were younger, so long ago! You are truly an inspiration! Thanks for all your great posts!

Joni Gardine said...

I completely agree with you 100%. Our best *really* is good enough. What a beautiful post. I am happy to have found your blog! I think I may adopt your "once a week treat" idea. I'm a little bit out of control...

Mary Postert said...

Wow, what a wonderful, well-written post. Thank you for sharing.

amills12 said...

YOU ARE TRULEY AN INSPIRATION TO ME ... THANKS FOR THE GREAT WORDS OF WISDOM. I MISS YOU AND HOPE YOU ARE DOING GOOD.