Trying to be Good Enough {by Not Trying to be Good Enough}

cartoon courtesy of The Bunny System

I’ve got an idea! Let’s start off with a pop quiz this morning!

I know you haven’t studied.  That’s why it’s called a “pop” quiz.

I know it’s summer and you want to go outside.  The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can go out.  Do you hear me??  It’s just a couple questions.  You’ll live.  Ready?

I said, ready!??

Here we go . . .



1)  “What is the meaning of life?” _______________________________________________________________________________

(if you need more room, you can write on the back)

2)  “Why am I here?”
(not me . . . you!  And yes, you may substitute “What is my purpose?” if you’d rather.)

(You shouldn’t need that much room for this one . . . stop writing.)

Actually, if you wanna know a secret, I can distill these two questions down to a single yes-or-no question, especially if you take both of them by our modern, technically advanced, high performance, low carb, extra strength, new and improved worldly standards.

Ready for this one??  Okay, you asked for it . . .

“Am I Good Enough?”
____ Yes
____ No

You see, I’ve come to one conclusion after all of my exclusively allotted time on this spinning, water-logged ball: they’re all essentially the same question, or more precisely, the answer to any of them begs asking the same question.  Our entire existence in this modern age has come down to the simple desire to be Good Enough.

  • In a relationship, you hope you’re Good Enough to attract that perfect companion, that one true soul mate, or at least the hot guy/girl across the bar (though I wouldn’t recommend that . . . beer goggles are fickle things).
  • In employment, you hope you’re Good Enough at your job to be personally, professionally, and/or financially successful (not necessarily in that order . . . well, probably not in that order at all).
  • With your kids, you hope you’re Good Enough at parenting to equip them for the full-contact sport called “life”, to mold them into everything they potentially could be (You know? Your kids?  Those little half-sized humans hanging around your house always wanting food, and X-box games, and {heaven forbid} your time?  Yeah, those things.  The ones always getting in the way of you trying to be successful!).
  • In your spiritual life, you hope to end your life Good Enough to reach whatever fulfillment, whatever great beyond, or great nothingness, awaits you (unless you don’t believe in a spiritual life, in which case you can skip this one and pray to Richard Dawkins your right.  No wait, skip that . . . that too would be “faith”.  Sorry.).

What if someone were to come along and say, “You’re never going to be good enough! You’re never going to get it right enough.”

They will you know.  They always do.

You see?  Those naysayers?  That would be the world.  That nagging voice.  That never-ending, unquenchable desire for “more”.  That’s the world’s standards talking.  It’s a glutton.  It’s egotistical.  It’s selfish and self-centered.  It’s huge.  And powerful!  Oh man, is it strong!

What’s the meaning of life?  More!

Why am I here?  To get more!

Suitably depressed now?  I thought so.

So here’s a little plot twist . . .
(spoiler alert!!)

What if, in addition to “You’re never going to be Good Enough!”, someone added . . .

“That’s not the point.”

What if it wasn’t about you being Good Enough?  What if it wasn’t about you at all?

  • In a relationship, what if you could find someone whose talents, personality and emotional well-being complimented your own?  Not someone you were Good Enough for, but someone that made both of you better?
  • In employment, what if you worked, not on being good enough, but making someone else look good, or simply making someone’s immediate situation, or day, or life a little easier, a little less complicated?
  • With your kids, what if you didn’t try to help them fulfill their potential, but by simply living your life you showed them what potential was?
  • What if living outside of yourself then became the basis of your spiritual life?

3 thoughts on “Trying to be Good Enough {by Not Trying to be Good Enough}”

  1. I like the pop quizz and so many people have asked those very questions including me but after getting to know Who Jesus is and His purpose for me now I can say I know why I am here on earth. He placed me here to tell and bring the good news of His Son, The meaning of life for me is to live it in fullest according to His word. You know so many people believe that they can’t live a life of fullness until they are in heaven but I believe God wants His children to enjoy our life on earth and the only way we can do that is by His word. Others in this world are searching for Hope, Joy and Peace and I already have those things so living life for me is fullness. Each day it gets better and better not to say I don’t have things I struggle with because I am not exempt from sin but I know without Jesus in my life I have no life and those who don’t know Him or have a relationship with Him are the ones who lose out on what living life really is about.

  2. Kent, your thoughtful comments sure take a lot of pressure off and help to clarify the things that are really important in life. It is so hard to let go of the ego—that unquenchable urge to focus on making ourselves look good. What a relief it would be to dump that perspective and to work in love, regardless of our situation.

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