99 out of 100, it is not perfect, but it is close to perfect, and by my standards it is good enough, and only one missing probably nothing to worry about.
9 out of 10, again it is not perfect, but again it is close to perfect, and by my standards it is good enough, and again one missing is probably nothing to worry about.
Most of us aim for perfection. At the same time, most of us are also aware that perfection is not always possible. And so we are willing to settle for close to perfect or simply good enough. It is so easy to settle for good enough. And in some ways, it may seem most practical or make the most amount of sense. I mean take the example of leaving 99 sheep in the desert to go in search of the lost one which does not seem to be practical, does not make sense, and actually is kind of dangerous. I mean when you leave 99 sheep by themselves it does not make sense. Another one of the 99 could end up going astray, or something could come along and snatch away 1 of the 99. Leaving 99 sheep by themselves is just not a good idea.
What would seem to be most practical and would make the most amount of sense, would be to say 99 out of 100 is good enough, losing one is not a big deal, and choose not to worry about the one missing. Things just happen where you lose one every once in a while.
While it may seem to be the most practical and make the most amount of sense to settle with almost perfect or good enough, our God does not. Our God works for perfection and does not stop until reaching perfection. Not only does God not stop but He is willing go to extreme measures to reach this perfection. In our scriptures today, we hear multiple examples of the extreme measures that God is willing to make to reach this perfection. We hear of the man with 100 sheep and losing one, leaving the 99 to go find that one. We hear of a woman having ten coins and losing one, lighting a lamp, sweeping the house and looking diligently for it. And we hear of a father that awaits his son’s return.
Our God is a perfectionist and does not settle for good enough. Rather our God is willing to go to extreme measures to reach perfection. Some may even see these extreme measures as being reckless love. Regardless of what you call our God’s efforts for perfection, I am grateful for it for a number of reasons but probably most noted because I am that one that goes missing from time to time. And I must admit it is good that someone is there looking out for me.
God seeks perfection. And when God does, God celebrates this accomplishment of perfect. I mean not only do we hear of the extreme measures of looking for what was lost, but once what was lost is found a great celebration happens. I mean we hear of the father throwing a big party when he has his son back safe and sound.
God does not settle for good enough but for perfection. The temptation is for us to settle for good enough and it is easy to settle. Yet, the Lord also challenges us to work for perfection. The Lord calls for us to search carefully for those who are missing, and celebrate when they return.
Who is missing? Who are you being called to bring back?
Fr. Matt Keller, C.PP.S., ordained in June 2018, is the parochial vicar of the Dayton Region Seven parishes, which includes Emmanuel, Holy Trinity and St. Joseph.