We were only hours from touching down in London. It was starting to sink in. I had committed my entire summer to working with a church, and I was beginning to feel inadequate.
I have felt like the biggest screw-up these past few months – or if I’m being honest, the past couple years. I’m frustrated with myself. I can’t seem to get things right whether they be in my spiritual life, social life or academic life.
I’m confused, lost and unsure of almost everything. Yet here I was committing to a summer of working with a church.
I was staring out of the airplane window trying to stay awake so I could fall asleep once we got into London. The fiery sunset was slowly fading into the grey clouds, and I just watched in awe.
And as I stared I noticed my spotted airplane window. It was grimy and stained with water. It was a funny thing, though. The instant I switched my focus to the spots, I could no longer see the sun in focus. It was a red blur.
Being the writer and wannabe philosophical person that I am, I decided to make something out of this seemingly insignificant moment.
All my life I’ve gotten the impression that in order to do something great I’ve got to get my ducks in a row first. I’ve got to sort out my life and get rid of all the dirt before God can use me in a big way.
I should be following a reading plan to get through the entire Bible in a year. All of my relationships should be perfect. I have got to cross things off my Christian to-do list before I can move onto the next level. It’s almost as if I’ve got to earn the right to be used by God.
But if I or God waited until I was ready or perfect, I would never be able to do anything.
If I focus on every spot on my window and how dirty it is, I will never be able to see the bigger picture of what God wants to do with my life. I like to focus on my fears, failures, insecurities, inadequacies and basically anything else that keeps me from moving on. I think that I’ve got to be the Christian with the golden star before I can truly do great things.
But what is so beautiful about God is that he uses us just as we are. He accepts us just as we are. I’m the one who feels the need to scrub away every imperfection before committing to something great. I’m often my worst critic.
What I’ve realized, though, is that because I’m imperfect God can use me. He looks past my dirt and grime, and I’ve got to learn to do the same.
Don’t wait for your window to be clean before you start doing great things because the reality is you will never have a clean window.
And if you don’t start looking past your spots, you’ll never see the great and unfathomable things that God has planned for you. You’ll never see the fiery sunset.