From The Storyteller
Oct. 21, 2019, Real
“We’ve all had a great time this weekend, but now it’s time we return to the ‘real’ world.” The retreat is ending, new friends have been made, the food has been great, and the closing speaker is sending the tired individuals home. The phrase is almost like a warning that the everyday stuff is still out there waiting for their return.
For years I’ve avoided using this phrase because it’s suggesting that the “real” world, and the weekend they’ve just enjoyed, are two different worlds. They’re NOT! Yes, the weekend is structured to maximize its focus in an enjoyable way, and yes, the world out there will have its speed bumps, but it will also have hugs, smiles, sunrises, and friends.
Peter Pan Theology is “Believe in Jesus and everything will turn out great”. Nice thoughts, and good things do happen to “believers”, but so does cancer, having a jerk for a boss, and hurricanes like Harvey. I would point out these same things (good and not so good) happen to “nonbelievers” also, because it’s all a part of the “real” world.
Which leads me to a quote from Sophocles the ancient Greek dramatist who wrote, “Look and you will find it. What goes unsought will go unnoticed.”
Which in turn brings me to the fact that I’ve chosen to view every person I deal with, including myself, Elaine, and our children as just being “very good”. I’ve decided to view people this way following the pattern set out in the first two chapters of the Bible, where God scandalously avoids calling anything in the "real" divine creation “perfect”.
By just expecting people to be “very good”, and not getting upset when everything doesn’t go as planned (less than perfect), I find my “real” world pretty enjoyable.
Moral: “Very good” beats "perfect" every time.