Shortcut To Perfection

                               By Phil Scovell

          I lived about four blocks  from the elementary school I attended.
     I well remember  every square inch of  that neighborhood and it  was a
     wonderful place  in which  to grow  up as  a child.   I  lived in  Des
     Moines, Iowa  until I  was about twelve  and then  we moved  to Omaha,

          My first week of kindergarten was exciting and a little  scary at
     the same  time.  My mom  walked me to  school that first day,  as most
     mothers did with  their little four, five,  and six year  old children
     starting school for the first time.

          During  that first week, mom explained  to me that she would walk
     with  me but  each day  she  would stop  short of  walking  the entire
     distance with me and let me walk the rest of the way by myself.  This,
     she explained, would help me get used  to it.  I was a little nervous,
     you might say,  about walking alone and  I didn't like the  thought of
     leaving  my mother either but I knew it  had to be done.  After all, I
     was a big boy now because I was in school.

          The second day, she walked all the  way to the school grounds and
     let me walk the half a  block to where my school entrance was  for the
     kindergarten students.

          the third  day, we  walked the first  two block  together because
     they were not  divided by a  cross street.  At  the end of  that first
     corner, mom encouraged me to  finish the rest on my own.  She promised
     to stay at the  corner so I could  see her, if  I turned to look,  and
     that way  she would make sure I arrived  safely on the school grounds.
     This  was  back before  children  were kidnapped.    Now we  jail such
     perpetrators,  if they  are  caught, and  then  we let  them  out into
     society  again two or  three years later  so they  can do it  all over

          I well remember,  turning around and looking around  two or three
     times to see if mom was still on the corner, as I made my way down the
     remaining two blocks to school.   She was always there.   Fortunately,
     the school property could  be seen clearly from  the corner where  mom
     stood but it was comforting to be able to turn and see her smiling and
     standing there watching.

          On the fourth day, she walked about half way down those first two
     blocks.  Now, when I rounded the corner, I could no longer see her but
     I knew where she was and I made it without any trouble.

          Finally, by  week's end, I  was walking the entire  distance from
     home by myself without fear or reluctance.

          Over  the years,  I walked  every conceivable  route to  and from
     school.  When I was a little older, I gained  courage enough to take a
     shorter way home by cutting through a  back street and then snaking my
     way through backyards.  At times, I even went home for lunch.  I would
     run  all the  way, taking  the shortcut,  climbing and jumping  a tall
     fence, eating lunch at home, and then running back to school in plenty
     of time to play on the large playground with my friends.

          This  childhood memory,  along with  two  others, recently  began
     surfacing.    The  three memories  seemed  to  be a  boxed  set.   The
     interesting aspect of the three memories, or the thing they all had in
     common, were that they were all good memories.   I am so used to going
     to bad memories, or painful memories, where healing  by the Lord Jesus
     Christ  needs to be done, both in my personal life and those with whom
     I  pray,  that  I was  stumped  as  to why  these  good  memories were
     surfacing.  Sure, I had seen these pleasant memories hundreds of times
     over the years  but as these came to mind, they seemed to stay, almost
     fixed, in my memory.  It was this memory, however, that seem to have a
     little discomfort in it so I  began praying and asking the Lord  about

          He said, "How did you feel in the memory?"

          I felt alone and said as much.

          "What else did you feel?" the Holy Spirit asked.

          I stared at the little 5 year old boy walking down those two long
     blocks alone and looking back occasionally to see if his mom was still
     there.   Loneliness wasn't really what  I felt.  Then  what was it?  I
     watched myself carefully  in the memory and realized  that I wasn't in
     danger and that my mom was just a few yards behind me.  Then it hit me
     and I said,  "I felt like I  should have not  been afraid and able  to
     walk to school on my own."

          It was  almost as  if I could  hear the Lord  chuckle.   He said,
     "Phil, you don't have to be perfect because I am."

          This statement was so powerful, I had  to stop and think about it
     for awhile.  Yes, I knew Jesus was  perfect but why this truth in this
     memory He  was letting me recall?  Because  something told me I should
     have been better; I  should have been  perfect; I shouldn't have  been
     afraid.  Yet, Jesus said, "You don't have to be perfect because I am."
     I felt the reality of this statement of truth and felt  myself smiling
     inside.   It was true.  I  did not need to be  perfect because my Lord
     and Savior was perfect in my behalf.

          I am not a perfectionist by any means but I often pray with those
     who  are.    For  those  who are  Born  Again  Christians,  this kicks
     perfectionism  right in the  head.  So  stop and think  about it for a
     moment and if  you still have trouble with  your perfectionism getting
     in your way, call me and let's find out the truth which Jesus has  for

     Safe Place Fellowship
     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado
     Mountain Time Zone

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