Wednesday, 14 March 2012

[nobody gets me like you]

I've been having some really good late-night conversations recently.  (Thanks to those of you who've been putting up with me! :P)

On that I had the other night included me going *slightly* ecstatic over some pieces of what would normally be home-office furniture.  I say normally, because I would class it as past of standard essential home-ware.  But hey, I know it's not everyone's cup of tea.  And I may be a *slight* control freak at times.
At least I'm honest about these things...

Anyway, back to the topic in hand.  In the course of this conversation I made the comment that I'm sometimes sure that something is what I really want, but I'm equally sure that if someone who really knew me came along and showed me something completely different that would almost be better.  Or I often think I know exactly what I want, and how I want it, but then I wouldn't be surprised if someone who knew me really well came along and gave me something completely different, but that it would be even better than I imagined.  Because it would be what I needed, not what I thought I wanted.

In this context, I was talking specifically about houses.  My perfect house would be a big little cosy cottage on the border of the town and countryside with a view of the sea.  It would have real fireplaces, with proper oak flooring, with an Aga in the kitchen, open plan to an extent but having lots of nooks and crannies in which to put books/cushions/people, proper quilts on the beds (of which there would be at least two), full of fresh flowers and sunshine and of course tidy, organised, light and welcoming.  That is my idea of heaven :) (yeah, I know... keep dreaming...) 

In the course of the above conversation, the friend in question raised the point that they'd thought something similar about relationships, but never before about possessions.  In Don't Tell The Bride, brides often remark that their (now) husbands have done an amazing job organising the wedding, even though it wasn't what they'd wanted - it was better.

Was what the husbands organised better because they really did know their wives well?  Or was it that the brides had just over-commercialised the personalised celebration that they wanted?  Another friend commented recently (in a difference context!) that 
"what you think you need, need is what God knows you need". 
In my head I kind of changed this to "wanting" was what you thought, and "needing" was what God thought.  I've been mulling this over in the week since it was said, and I really think it's true.  Probably because most of the things we (or me at least, but being shallow and materialistic are but two of my many failings) want are material things.  I mean, of course I want to be happy and I want everyone else to be happy too.  I want to have a good job and a loving family (as in future family - my current family is lovely!) But how much of that is because I want this nice house, and people with whom to share it?  How much of it is for my personal satisfaction (whether due to societal pressures or not)?

I managed to answer a question I posted here a few months ago.  
Q: Why am I putting myself through this degree?
A: Because I want a good job.
Q: Why do I want a good job?
A: So I can have this house.
Q: Why do I want this house?
A: Because it will be pretty and perfect.

As imperfect beings, do we (I) put too much weight on "perfect" things?  Another friend (one that probably knows knew me too well) once said that it was in imperfections that we find perfection.  I can't decide whether on the surface or on a deeper reading that it makes no sense, but I think I understand what they meant.  Being perfect is, in itself, an imperfection.  But when there are many imperfections - the chair that's a bit rickety because it belonged to a Grandparent, the mug that's had to become a vase because your brother's chipped it, the plates that don't all match because your friends helped you collect them all - these imperfections, these quirks and personal memories - make these things perfect.

God knows that what we need, we will get.  He is our father, and therefore knows what we need before we even ask for it.  (Matthew 6:8) He knows that we need things to live.  We might want everything to be pretty and beautiful, but if it's part of God's creation, part of what he's made... how can it not be?  Even if we don't think it is, God might. 
What we should want most is God's Kingdom, and doing what he wants.  Even if we don't think it's pretty.  Even if no one else thinks it's pretty.  If we're doing what God wants then God will give us what we need. (Matthew 6:33).

Four leaf clovers, for example, are so sought after because they're actually imperfect.  Clovers have three leaves, not four.  But the ones with four leaves, those that are imperfect, are special. 

What do you see as perfection?
What do you want, and what do you need?

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