I once knew a girl who always tried to be perfect. Every day, she would try to read more, write more, and be more productive. She would try her best not to waste her day. But still, every day, she would get on facebook and waste some of her time. She would also try her best to get to work on time, which rarely ever happened. She was always at least five minutes late. Every day, she would get so mad at herself because she did better, but she never did good enough. She never wrote enough, read enough, and she was never always perfectly on time to work.
She also found herself wishing things were perfect. She loved history and reading the news stories that popped up on her home page, Yahoo! But they always made her sad, because she always came across nothing but bad news. She studied the Vietnam War and read a book about it, but only ended up finding out how terrible the war really was. She would find herself wishing that it would have been better, that the veterans of that war would have had a chance to really live instead of living with their burdens.
She also learned about World War II, Things that can cause cancer (aka everything), bedbugs, Senate Bill 5, the recession, Ohio’s funding system for education, pollution, global warming, oil spills, death, not ever having enough money because everything was so expensive, how great times were in the sixties, 9/11, Agent Orange, The Pentagon Papers, all of the secrets the government keeps, Democrats and Republicans, Selfish Politicians, melting glaciers, the short time we have on earth, tendonitis, arthritis, and many other things that made her sad.
And then that girl realized that she was beginning to wish that everything could just be perfect. That it could be better than it was. Why did the United States Army think it was a good idea to dump poisonous chemicals on all the trees and people in Vietnam? Why do we have to worry about blood sucking creatures that live in our beds? Why couldn’t the governor actually change the funding system for education in Ohio after it had been ruled unconstitutional 3 separate times?
But the question she was really asking was, why couldn’t everything just be better? Why couldn’t she be a better person? Why was it impossible to achieve this?
And then she asked herself, why do I want everything to be better? Why do I want to better myself? There was nothing she noticed in her life that made her feel like she needed to better herself- that feeling was just there. But it couldn’t have been there without a cause behind it, without a reason. She knew she had wanted it because she had somehow experienced it before.
And she finally realized that she had this feeling because it had been better before. It had actually been perfect. She was trying to regain something that had been lost at the very beginning of time.
So She flipped to the very beginning of the Bible and began to read. In just a short amount of time, she had found what she had before within the first 3 chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-3)
It was life in the Garden of Eden with God, life where everything was actually good. God made everything, and it was good (Genesis 1:31). Adam and Eve were made for each other, so that they would never be alone. In this world, there was no such thing as work, death, selfishness, lack of money (actually there probably wasn’t even money to begin with), Sadness, feeling alone, hunger, poverty, cruelty, abuse, limited time, Sickness, Terminal Illness, Pain, unrest or anything you can think of that sucks.
Now, in the Garden of Eden there was happiness, interaction, health, satisfaction, rest, life, safety, no sense of time, selflessness, peace, and everything else you can think of that you want.
It was all there. And we wanted it because we lost it. It was Adam and Eve who lost it, but their mistake became the characterization of all humans. The feeling that something was wrong or missing carried through the entire human race, all the way up to this minute. And don’t tell me you’ve never felt like this, I know you have. It’s something you absolutely cannot deny.
Then the girl began to think about how this was true in her own life. This feeling of loss was just like when she lost her dad during back in the spring of 2009. She always wished she could have him back, and she still does today. There are times she wished she had appreciated more, like the time he took her to that Sarah Palin rally and tried to make conversation with a Secret Service agent, or the time he ran out of gas when she was driving to get hours in for her license, or the times he played WOBO 88.7 and listened to German polka music on Sundays.
And there are times that she regrets not spending more time with her dad. Because all that exists now are memories. But she will still continue to want him back.
And this is just like she will always want back the perfection that existed in the Garden of Eden. She will always strive for it, because she realized that that’s what she was made for. And that’s what we were all made for.
That’s why life sucks, and that’s why it’s obvious that God is real, because we keep chasing after the perfection we once had with Him. It seems to be built into us. It’s in our nature.
And that girl? That girl was Me.
And she is you.
She is everyone.