MANY expect a certain amount of imperfection to show up in their work no matter how hard they try. It's true that we all have lessons to learn and knowledge to gain. But we don't have to resign ourselves to a percentage of failure in what we do. With God's help, we can perform our appointed tasks without error.
One time, my sister was doing her last run-through on the piano of music she would be performing later that afternoon. To her great frustration, she couldn't play the piece without making countless mistakes. Another sister was trying to calm her. But the well-intentioned ``No one expects perfection'' didn't help at all!
Overhearing the exchange, I gently reminded the panicked artist that God had given her the ability to play that music perfectly. She didn't need to accept the possibility of anything less. Nodding approval, she agreed, and soon calmed down. We went to the recital and listened to her play the piece beautifully--without error. Everyone was delighted.
We should never give in to the lie that says mistakes are inevitable. Christ Jesus urged his followers, Matthew's Gospel records, ``Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect'' (5:48). This demand seems impossible to fulfill on a merely human level--and it is, for the human mind accepts imperfection as a reality. But with God's help, perfection is possible. Because man--our genuine selfhood--is God-created and wholly spiritual, we can rely on the unlimited power and wisdom of God, divine Mind, to enable us to do our work.
Mind is always communicating what we need to know at any given moment. The crucial question is, Are we listening? Acknowledging our need of God, and paying attention to His direction, are prerequisite to discerning spiritual guidance.
God is perfect, and everything He inspires us to do unfolds more of our God-given ability to express spiritual perfection. He is all-knowing, all-wise Mind. God is never stymied, perturbed, upset, or forgetful. God is our Mind. And as we claim this Mind to be our own, we'll find ourselves reflecting more of its capacity for putting out flawless work.
Perfection appears more frequently in our efforts when we keep the goal of reaching it uppermost in thought. By our rectifying spiritually substandard attitudes such as carelessness, thoughtlessness, or indifference, the liability to make mistakes disappears. Flaws and goofs become less likely.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives'' (p. 248). The ultimate model to hold in consciousness is perfect God and perfect man. In reality, nothing else exists. Human existence and its struggle with mortal frailty would say otherwise. But as we persist in our efforts to do things perfectly, as God's reflection, we'll triumph over human shortcomings and prove we are God's perfectly able child.
We can depend on God's unfailing guidance and support in any situation. His aid and inspiration are ever-near. Patience and joyful expectancy of good open thought to receiving His spiritually inspired ideas. They, in turn, enable us to do things better. Humility gladly abandons the wrong in order to embrace the right. Sloppy practices and bad habits fall away. And we learn that error-free work is an attainable goal.