© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
5 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, Nebraska. 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 again. 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 it. 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 you.