Popcorn Grace

3 08 2011

I am a perfectionist. I am working to get over it. There was a time when perfectionism crippled my relationship with God. I thought that faith was a checklist that I had to complete. God’s relentless love has shown me that it is a relationship to be lived. There are moments, however, when my struggle with being perfect still makes my heart stumble.

Third day of camp. By this point short nights, early mornings, and baking hundreds of chocolate chip cookies were beginning to take its toll. When we finished serving lunch, I grabbed the opportunity to take a short nap. A few minutes of rest would revive and recharge me. I checked the schedule, set my alarm, and closed my eyes.

The banging on the door caused me to sit straight up in my bunk, hitting my head on the bed above me. “Are you coming to do canteen?” a voice called out. I shook myself awake, totally bewildered by the question. I looked at the schedule again and flew into a panic. I missed it. I misread the schedule and now a mess hall full of girls sat waiting for their popcorn. The perfectionist in me was mortified.

I ran to the kitchen and started popping popcorn. Getting out the bowls, I looked into the eyes of the staff gathered around the table expecting to see recrimination and blame. Instead, I saw love, friendship, and room to be my whole self. In that moment, grace had a face.

The popcorn was a big hit. But I learned more in almost missing the popcorn than I would have if I had gotten right by myself. Someone held me accountable and called me back to the table. Others offered to pitch in and help. Grace overflowed as I realized that the best friendships are not defined by me getting it all right, but by being there and standing together.

My Jesus Resolution today is to pop some popcorn. With each pop, I am going to remember the power of grace. It covers me, holds me close, teaches me to be better, and reminds me that taking a faith step with Him is better than just standing still and trying to do it all by myself.



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