When I was younger one of my favorite places to visit was my grandparent’s condo down in Siesta Key. My family would visit there often on weekends and holidays. The best part of visiting down there was we were in walking distance of the beach and ocean.
At the beach there was a pier where people gathered to fish. Whenever I had friends come down to visit at Siesta Key we would run down to the pier to go fishing. I vividly remember one such time. My friends David and Dawn had joined us and we decided to go fishing. Dawn and I had a simple bamboo pole with fishing line attached. David on the other hand had one of those fancy rod and reel fishing poles. He kept teasing Dawn and me telling us that we weren’t going to catch anything with our silly little pole.
Standing a few feet apart we cast our lines into the ocean. Almost instantly, Dawn and I had a sharp tug on our line. We yanked our line up out of the water to see a Sheepshead fish hooked by the mouth. We tossed it into our catch bucket. Both of us looked at David with big grins on our faces. He ignored us!
Dawn and I baited our hook again casting out our line. Once again we instantly had a tug on our line. This time when we yanked up our line we were the proud catchers of a Red Drum fish. David hadn’t even gotten a tug on his line. Dawn and I caught more fish in the first hour then David caught the whole afternoon with his fancy rod and reel. He was not a happy camper at the end of the fishing day! David was miserable because his “perfect” plan to prove us wrong had failed miserably.
I cherish this memory because it reminds me of the acronym K.I.S.S (keep it simple silly). As I look back over my life I’ve found that the times were I experienced the most joy were the simple times in my life. Whereas, every time I strove for perfection, as my only goal, something went wrong that ruined the whole experience.
For a majority of my life I felt pressured to achieve the “perfect” life. In order to obtain that life I came up with perfect plan for my life when I was in Junior High. I decided I was going to go to Princeton to Law School to become a lawyer. To me it sounded like the perfect way to achieve that much sought after perfect life. I was a good student, in Gifted classes, my GPA was great, and it seemed like everything was in line for success. Then I discovered that Princeton doesn’t have a Law School, I ended up dropping out of High School in the 11th grade, and I got pregnant at 17 years old. It looked like I had failed miserably in the pursuit of my “perfect” life.
In hindsight, I realize that instead of striving for perfection I should have been seeking the Lord. He has a perfect plan for my life. And only His perfect plan will work. My perfect plan for my life was doomed to fail because it wasn’t His plan for me. He didn’t give me the bad things that happened, but He has used those very things to help me find my way to what He had planned for me. By simply focusing on Jesus I have been able to walk in joy through my life.
My theory is this: Keep it simple. Seek the Lord. Walk in His joy.