Proofing: The detection and correction of error.
I have spent multiple hours proofing and editing and getting more sleep in the morning then at night. As an author it is important to me to get it just right…and try as I might, it still has to be re-edited and proofed by another set of eyes that leave ugly red marks all over again. Such is the life of a writer. No matter how many times I go over it, no matter how many mistakes I correct there are still more…that someone else sees and corrects and the cycle continues…until eventually we are at a place that we both approve of, and finally, we go to the printer!
I’ve been thinking a lot about this proofing process as it relates to my faith walk.
We are told by the apostle Paul that we should run with endurance the race that God has marked before us by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author (I like that) and the Perfector (I really like that) or our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-3) God is the ultimate perfectionist. He wants the story that He writes on us to be absolutely perfect. That doesn’t mean that we are or that we can even hope to be, that means that, in the end, that story is going to say exactly what He wants it to say, exactly the way He wants it said.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that there is not a single person (fully flesh and blood - lest any of you smart alecks out there correct me by shouting out “Jesus!”) alive or dead that has lived a “perfect” life. Give me a name of someone that you admire and that inspires you and you will find that the very thing that makes them do so is the muck and mire that they were given the grace to fight through. It isn’t that their lives were perfect that draws you to them…it is the very fact that somehow, someway Christ took those imperfections and made them perfectly beautiful.
It isn’t the blemishes, the typos, the insurrections that define us or the story of our lives, it is the way in which we allow Him to edit them.
And the key here is that He edits.
I had something happen recently that quite honestly pissed me off. (Yes, mom, I realize that is strong language, but that’s how I felt.) Satan got a hold of me, pulled me into some grief, some sin, some sadness with my own rope, and I was ticked! How dare he? I was determined to set it right, so after Christ in His great mercy reached down into the pit to rescue me, I grabbed the rope intended for my harm and made a lasso, determined to capture the trapper. (Hmmmm…any guess as to how that turned out? Yep. Snared again.) I literally gave him one more chance to stick it to me…and believe me, it stuck. Like a pin to my already severely deflated spirit. Christ had to rescue me again.
Proofing. It’s important to Him. SO important that He says, “Let Me die for you.” He died. We know this. We’ve seen the pictures, heard the sermons, watched the Passion of the Christ and wept, but have we really captured the amazing truth that He died for “me?” After I was rescued out of that pit, the second snare of the eternally evil one, I knew it without a doubt. It was fixed on my heart with a pen that couldn’t be washed away. No more doubts. He finished it.
Proofing. I tried to proof my own life. Find the caves and the traps, looking to keep myself from falling into temptation. I failed miserably. And the amazing thing is that the very thing that I had created as a “wall” a “coping mechanism” a “boundary” became the very thing that did me in…because it was me. My walls are thin and my boundaries move.
Proofing. It’s important to Him. He doesn’t want satan to get the victory anymore than we want him to get it, and here’s the thing: He settled that, too. We don’t have to edit our mistakes so that God gets the glory…we just simpy glorify God as He edits our mistakes. I had it backward. I was doing the edits and, in effect, taking back control. He says, “Give me all your imperfections, those things that hold you back, those things that are burdening you and worrying you, give them to Me.” He wants them. He knows that you can’t handle them, fix them, or cope. He is the red pen, holding an inkwell of blood that corrects the ugliest of mistakes.
Proofing. It’s never complete. Get that in your mind now, and settle it in your heart. Until you breathe your final breath and your heart surges one last beat, the editing continues. Aren’t you glad? He’s not finished with you, yet.