Not Half Bad
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us
Not long ago I found myself sitting outside my local carwash waiting for my car to get dried, and polished off. The carwash attendants were hard at work returning our vehicles to their pristine look. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. As I was waiting I noticed this man being called to his car for pick up. It was a Mini Cooper S, and there it sat glistening like a jewel under a blazing sun for all to admire. But instead of getting into the vehicle the man proceeded to walk around every inch of the car like a general inspecting his troops. He then started to nitpick, and have the carwash attendants go back over some parts of the car polishing some more. After some more pouting and pointing, he eventually got into his car and drove off. As I watched the whole sorry scene I thought to myself, now here is a guy who is going to have some major challenges in life. Here is a guy who is expecting too much. Here is a guy looking for perfection. As far as I was concerned the car looked great before he inspected it, and the man seemed to have forgotten that as soon as he takes it back on the road it is going to get dirty in a hurry. He might even become a victim of a flock of birds on a bombing run. To be honest as he drove off, I turned my head towards heaven, and called in an air strike.
The point of this story is to remind us all that this man's approach to car washing is a bad philosophy on life. If you are looking for perfection, life will disappoint you. Life cannot meet that demand. The Bible tells us that this is a fallen world. We live among the ruins of a once glorious kingdom now spoilt by sin (Gen. 3:1-19). Life, because of Adam's disobedience, is only a pale reflection of what it once was (Rom. 5:12). Men in all that they do fall far short of God's glory (Rom. 3:10-18, 23). This planet and its inhabitants have been subject to futility following the Fall (Rom. 8:18-25). We are therefore to strive and settle for the possible, not the perfect (Rom. 12:18). Life must not be oversold. Greater joy is experienced in life when we lower our expectations. That last statement is not a call for mediocrity, but it is a call to biblical realism regarding the nature of life in a fallen world. There is a happiness and consolation to be gained in appreciating life's limitations. When you expect less, you enjoy more.
In the light of the doctrine of the Fall, we need to accept the fact that life is good when it is not half bad. We need to be less Pollyannaish, and more Pauline! Given the fallen nature of the world, we need to look at the glass as half full, not half empty. That which is not half bad in a bad boy world is a good thing, and something to be enjoyed and celebrated. Few things are perfectible this side of heaven so enjoy what you can. Let's be more realistic about the way we are, and the world is! Please, get in the car!