Don’t let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good.


There is much in this life that will never be right, will never be perfect. That wise preacher said “That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.” If you go out in search of perfection, you will come back with nothing. If you wait to do something, or say something, until all the conditions or words are perfect, it will never happen.

I have a brother who is a skilled carpenter, I am not. I once built a little piece of furniture that my kids could play on when they were little. It was a kind of little fort built above one of their beds. I made it from some old wood that I had lying around. When my brother saw it one day, he started to critique it, rightfully so, for it wasn’t done very well. He was saying how he would have done it, better joints, better wood, better finish, better design, and I believe that he would have too, but I had built it, it existed. If I had waited to save and buy the best wood, and taken more time in the construction (taking time away from other things by the way), and even before beginning had put more time and energy into designing it, it would have no doubt been better, but would my kids still be little enough to use it. Maybe, maybe not.

I also built a pig pen for my daughter, and planned on buying her a pig for Four H. By the time I got it all finished and found a place to buy the pig and researched the fair stuff, my daughter was graduating high school. There is a finite amount of resources in your life, and a finite amount of time. If you wait for everything to be just right, you will always be waiting. Now of course you can go to the other side of things, and take no time, or have no pride in anything you do, but at least in that scenario you are doing something. What I have witnessed in my life is that we have a bigger problem with waiting for things to be just right, than rushing into things, sometimes rushing into things is not all bad.

I talk to people about going to church and they often say things like, “I haven’t found one I like” and believe me I can sympathize with that. But I have seen people use that excuse for years and years, all the while missing out on much fellowship that they could be having. Wives are also one of those things that if you are waiting for the perfect one, you may be waiting forever. I have talked to men who have left a woman because she wasn’t this or that, but later in life, when they are alone, or with someone worse, they see that maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. Having children. This is a big one. “We want to wait until everything is right, until we have enough money, until blah blah blah” This is the way peoples go extinct.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t plan, we shouldn’t be patient, we shouldn’t think our choices through, we absolutely should. What I am saying is that do not let your planning go for too long, and don’t let the fact that something isn’t perfect stop you. This life does not last forever, windows often close. This life will never be perfect. This life will never go just the way you planned, but don’t let that stop you.


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