A Limit to Perfection

“I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.” – Psalm 119: 96

I sit down at the computer and begin by typing the date. I always do this because I read somewhere that you should write what you know. The date says that it is exactly one month since my dad’s birthday. I remember I never did send him that present.  It’s probably buried under the pile of boxes I keep the Christmas decorations in, so I go to find it. Since I’m getting the boxes out anyway, I might as well put the ornaments away. I begin, my January-self arguing with my December-self’s flagrant inability to limit her decorating. I am more or less in the middle (which is to say wrapping the 673rd ornament) when my friend calls to ask me what I meant when I said that thing. It takes a while to explain, and even then I’m not sure I’m any clearer. But I am sure that I’m hungry, so I head into the kitchen for lunch. I’m greeted by a couple meals worth of dishes, so I wash a few. When I get to the cutting board, I remember that I still need to chop the veggies for tonight’s soup. The dog, who loves carrots, hangs around hoping for a nibble and I think how long it’s been since he’s had a really good romp outdoors. It isn’t raining for once, so I set off to find his leash. As we leave the house, the school bus pulls up, reminding me of the science fair project due tomorrow. My son and I spend the rest of the afternoon bathing in tears and Elmer’s glue. My husband arrives home from work around dinnertime and surveys the half-packed boxes, the half-chopped vegetables, the half-empty glue bottle and the wholly unexercised dog, who’s chewing on the corner of the couch. Then he asks me if I can drop something at the post office tomorrow.  “Sure,” I say, “I’ll put Dad’s present in the mail at the same time. I just have to find it.”


Holy Perfect One, I have seen the limit to all perfection more times than I can really count today.  Remind me again tomorrow of the exceeding broadness of your command. Amen.

dd-brownell.pngAbout the Author
Jennifer Brownell is an ordained UCC minister and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.