“Rejoice every time you discover a new imperfection.” – Jean Pierre de Caussade, 18th century Jesuit spiritual director
I confess. We should have trained our dog better; he will not do “his business” in the rain. Last night in a tropical storm, my husband put the dog in the car and drove to a shopping center with some sheltered sidewalk, out of pure desperation. There, Rafa felt dry and comfortable enough to perform. (Of course, my husband cleaned up after him, as we are environmentally correct.)
Today, the tropical storm continues. If I didn’t watch the Weather Channel, I’d be thinking about building an ark. So, timid Rafa and I are walking with a flimsy umbrella over to the shopping center for shelter, getting soaking wet, so that he can do his thing on dry pavement. This Walk of Joy will be repeated several times because my husband has the car out all day.
Impatience is one of my imperfections – impatience with my dog and impatience with my husband, who has the car. With them, my impatience leads to internal fuming that disturbs my inner peace and may lead to snarky remarks, if I am not careful. My impatience is manifested in being pushy or insistent too.
Jean Pierre de Caussade’s advice is to rejoice and to bear my impatience patiently. The idea is not to fuss over oneself too much. Don’t take oneself too seriously. Practice non-attachment. Don’t perseverate over one’s imperfections. The goal in life is not to be perfect; being known by God is enough. “Here are my imperfections, God.” There is no need to be defensive about them, with God’s grace. They are apparent to everyone, especially me. Being human means being imperfect.
My spiritual director says, “Old saints in the church become transparent; one can see through them to God.”
P.S. My husband thought better about staying out all day with the car. He’s driving our dog to the shopping center again right now.