Very Good/Not Perfect
God saw everything that [God] had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. – Genesis 1:31 (NRSV)
Did you ever notice what God says when God is all done creating the heavens and earth, the perch and porcupines, the golden retrievers and evening grosbeaks, and after God has blown the breath of life into a clay figure made in God’s own image? God says, “Very good.”
“Very good.” Not “perfect.”
For which we can be grateful. Perfect would have been like, “Don’t touch a thing.” “It’s perfect, don’t mess it up.” It’s complete, finished … perfect.
But “very good” is like, “This is cool, this is great, but not all done or finished.” Which is a way of saying that there’s a place for you and me and something for us to contribute here. “Very good,” but not finished.
And another thing, did you notice how a day works in the Bible? A day is not from morning to evening. In the Bible it is from evening to evening, night and day make “a day.” The day doesn’t start when I get out of bed in the morning (this came as a blow to my ego). The day has been in progress for a long time (without me). While I was dead to the world, God was busy. Morning light invites me to join a work-in-progress.
When I got used to it, this evening-to-evening day was a big relief. God was in charge. Not me, not you. It doesn’t all depend on us. But then, “very good” says, “You do have a part to play, a contribution to make. We need you.”
Go easy into this day—it doesn’t all depend on you. But go into it with joy—you have a part to play and a contribution to make, and without you it won’t be the same.
Thanks, God, for being such a wise and good God and creating a very good world with a place for each and every one of us to make a contribution. Amen.
This devotional by Tony Robinson also appears in This Is How We Begin: Devotionals and Prayers to Start Meetings, a collection of devotionals intended to center church meetings in God’s wisdom. Order This Is How We Begin here.