I used to be a very black and white person. Maybe that’s why I became a Collingwood supporter when I started following ‘Aussie Rules’ football! Although I am still highly analytical and driven, I have learned to live with the tension that certain reality checks have created in me (sometimes!). This doesn’t mean settling for a ‘slacker’ standard, but understanding why the high ideals of life cannot and should not always be attained.
Maybe this perspective comes more with age, as we grow out of the unbridled optimism of our youth, and maybe it can quash our enthusiasm too much, but living life within the margins provides a necessary safety valve and a stress release that saves us from ‘death by doing’.
It is, I believe, important to escape the pressure to perform on the treadmill of life by being comfortable in our own skin. As a Christian, my identity is found in my relationship with God and who He has made me to be, not who I think I need to be. It is about what He has already done not so much by what I now do. Therefore, even visions of greatness (or delusions of grandeur?!) that I feel are inspired by God can’t have me constantly pushing the performance boundaries as if I still need to find myself.
Living with a certain degree of comfort and in response to a God of heaven who wants to walk and talk with me daily helps me to find a new reality which healthily contrasts the idealism that I am drawn to when I live life in my own strength. Without this perspective, I find that the ideal becomes corrupted by my imperfection anyway, and creates a new reality that others see yet could do without.
Maybe, then, a better reality is the new ideal!