As Perfect as a Peach
By Paul Hayden
January 29, 2018
Inside each of us, there can be a search and longing for something permanent in our lives. Something we can hang on to, and never lose. Something or someone who will be with us forever. It is elusive most of the time, mostly because so little in this reality - really, nothing - is permanent, or perfect. If we find that something is not perfect, should we discard it? We continue our search for something that is better, or ultimately, the best. And then if we do find something "Perfect" - we want to preserve it, save it, make it last forever. But it won't. It will wear out, get a scratch or dent, get older, start decaying, and so on. The older you get you can gain perspective that can either help you to be thankful, or it can push you into anger and bitterness.
Can we be satisfied with something or someone who is less than the best? After all, it can be a lonely search through life if you see yourself as so “perfect” that you deserve only the best. "Only the perfect will do." Even your best friends can let you down, though to achieve 'best friend' status they would have to have been pretty close to perfect in your thinking.
Nothing in this life will last forever. It is a spiritual law. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but (only) my Word will not pass away.” (Matthew 24.35) A relationship with God is where we will find our stability, our permanence, our 'perfection.'
Is your search or longing for the perfect so consuming that it hinders you from enjoying that which is not so perfect? I have bordered on being a 'perfectionist' at times in my life, but over time I learned to see the futility of it. (I now call myself a "reformed perfectionist" which is being a lot more realistic.)
There is a saying that “Perfect is the Enemy of Good.”
I have seen in my life and business people wanting things in their home or life to be perfect. Often, these people have more than average resources (in other words, lots of money). They are all too often not so happy, but rather, they are frustrated and sometimes even angry. Perfection is elusive, evasive, and even deceptive. What we thought was going to be perfect, often isn’t. What is advertised to last forever, doesn’t.
Years ago, it became clear to me that many things were like peaches. Peaches don’t last. They are to be consumed and enjoyed at the height of their perfection. Try to save one for next week, and it will quickly rot. You can save some of its wonder in jam when mixed with sugar and cooked. But you cannot save a whole fresh peach for very long and have it retain its inherent beauty and wonder and deliciousness, its sweet flavor and texture and juiciness.
Some things last for a good long while in this life. But sooner or later you will have to let it all go. Your relationship with your parents, or siblings, or friends. A great car, or house. An antique book or piece of furniture. Ultimately each of us will have to let all of it go. The old saying goes, “You can’t take it with you,” concerning what we each take to the grave. At the very end, the mortician will pry the last things out of your cold, dead hands. It's just reality.
As you live and do what you can to make life better for yourself or others, learn to enjoy the imperfections of life, the flaws, the dents, the scratches. Learn to appreciate that which is temporary. Learn to appreciate people, and stuff, and places - indeed, life itself - that is not always so perfect, and may never be. Sometimes that which is not so perfect can actually be quite humorous - enjoy that, too. And you can always learn something from it. We can surely say that which is 'perfect' in this life will not last forever. So, when you find something or someone near perfect, enjoy it for the moment, or maybe even for a season if you are so lucky, because this earthly perfection won’t last. And don’t be so let down when it ends; rather be thankful for the time you were there.
Paul Hayden is a Christian believer, and an American patriot, necessarily in that order. He is a student of the Bible, and is avidly interested in our role in the context of history, as understood through the heart and eyes of faith. Paul has lived and traveled somewhat widely, and now lives in the heartland of the U.S. (central Illinois), with his wife Donna - they have five grown children. Since December of 2016, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of www.ConservativeTruth.org.
"I was raised by a Christian minister, Kenneth Hayden, until his death when I was 10. Then my mom married a farmer. So I was raised in a very down-to-earth home. My faith has grown through the years, but both in conjunction with the institutional church and through small groups and individuals, including books as well as group settings, where deep, sincere faith is shared that aligns with Biblical truth."