Present Over Perfect

Recently, I’ve been reading a book that’s been transforming my perspective and how I live my life called “Present over Perfect.” It’s challenged me to slow down, to let go of the to-do lists, and instead to be present, trusting in God with each situation of my life. One of the quotes that stood out was: “You’re ready to truly know Jesus in a deeper way. Start with being. Start with silence. He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Be still and know. Be still. Be. It starts with ‘be.’ Just be, dear one.’” What a beautiful thing, to learn what it looks like to live in a state of being rather than doing when it comes to our relationship with Christ! Of course, my practical mind goes towards “well then what does it actually look like to ‘be?’” but I think sometimes our minds try to overthink something that’s so simple. Maybe “being” looks different for each person, but what matters is that it’s about surrendering our agendas to the Lord and resting at His feet. I’m reminded of the passage in Luke 10:38-42 where Martha is scrambling to prepare her home for Jesus meanwhile her sister Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet and soaking in everything He’s saying. What would it look like to really sit at the feet of Jesus like this? Mary was fully present to what Jesus had to say, but Martha was so caught up in this frantic way of living. If I’m being honest, I relate the most to Martha in this story because it can be so easy to get lost in the motions of the day– going to classes, doing homework, eating, investing in relationships, repeat. Lately, God’s been convicting me with this way of living. If I’m always focused on what’s next, how will I be able to allow God to work in the present? Each day, I notice I’m finding beauty in the present– whether that’s taking a small moment to sit by the CCU pond and hear the sound of the birds and the water, or it could be learning the dance to the “Git Up” with my roommates and residents. Whatever it is, I believe Jesus rejoices when we choose to be present over perfect. 


“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed– or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”


What would it really look like if each day, we decided to desire God’s agenda above our own?


-Kira Pahlau (RA of the Cottage)

woman sitting on swing beside tree
Photo by Walter Torres on

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