Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And it Was Good

The readings yesterday and today are from the beginning of Genesis, the story of creation. Yesterday morning, Father talked about the poetic structure of this story: God said. And so it happened. God saw that it was good. He mentioned that a core Catholic belief is here: that all of God's creation is fundamentally good. We may be wounded by sin, but we are fundamentally good.

Yesterday afternoon, I facilitated the first Bible study session. My parish has four identical sessions running each week, each with a different facilitator. We have about 120 people signed up for the program. I had 32 people at my session yesterday.

I am disappointed with my performance as facilitator yesterday. From the outside, it may have seemed ok, but I am disappointed with myself. I had prepared at length for the material. I knew what I was going to say, when we would break into small groups, etc. I had a to-the-minute schedule, and for the most part, we stuck to it. We started on time and ended on time, covering all of the required material. As I said, from the outside, it likely (hopefully) appeared successful.

But what I hadn't adequately prepared for was my student population. I have years of experience facilitating training programs, and am very comfortable in this setting. But the time of this session (in the middle of a Monday afternoon) meant that my clientele was from a completely different demographic than I am used to teaching. This group was predominantly made up of senior citizens. I whipped through a brief explanation of the four-color charts and graphs, not realizing that two tables were filled with blank stares. I spoke too quickly and too quietly to be fully understood. At the end of the session, I shared my honest assessment of where I fell short with the Deacon and another facilitator. Hopefully, they can take my failures and make the necessary adjustments in the remaining sessions this week.

Yesterday afternoon, I was feeling pretty badly about it. I know that there were some confused faces in the crowd. I did my best to get everyone back on track before the session ended, but I fear that I may not have reached everyone. My perfectionism reared its ugly head, and I got caught up in all of the "would-haves" and "should-haves" and "wished I'd haves."

I mentioned this in an email with a friend. This morning, she wrote back, kind words recognizing my perfectionism and acknowledging my disappointment. Then she added this: "I know you would like to have done better, but truly, what you are doing is GOOD." And the words from Genesis came back to me. God saw that it was good. He didn't see that it was perfect. Perfect wasn't necessary for God (though certainly, it would have been possible for God to make creation perfect). No, it was not perfect; it was good. And that was enough for God.

Can I let it be enough for me, too?

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