Do you know how experts authenticate precious gems? Upon close inspection, they can tell whether or not a gem is real because of its imperfections. A stone that isn't marred by tiny bits of debris or discoloration is fake. It was created by man in a laboratory somewhere where the conditions were so pristine that the stone comes out looking perfect.
But it isn't genuine.
I find that comforting. In all my striving to be as good as I can possibly be at every single thing I set my hand to, I always wind up finding all sorts of specks and spots in myself. My first instinct is to consider them a sign of defeat. How can I be a winner at life with so much debris clouding up my soul?
My language isn't perfect. My thought life isn't perfect. My modesty is not perfect.
But I'm trying. Every day I'm trying to move closer to the ideal that I've set as a goal for myself. And I guess it makes sense that as I take each step forward, I'm bound to stir up some dust. I do my best to shake it off and leave it behind, sometimes some of that dust sticks. It's inevitable, really.
I don't like that it sticks. I wish it would all blow away and I could always be shiny and bright and radiant. I would look so perfect. Darn it, you could put me on a pedestal and charge admission just so the public behold me in all my perfect glory.
But I wouldn't be real. I'd be a fake. And nobody likes fake. It might look pretty in the short run, but in the long run it won't hold its value.
We are all gems in some state of roughness. We can wallow in our flaws and despair over the fact that they haven't gone away yet, or we can simply accept their existence, do our best to do what's right and keep moving. One step at a time.
That's what I'm doing. I don't want to settle for illusions. For me, genuine is the only way to be, even if it means I'm not perfect.