I always look for heart shaped shells at the ocean. I remember God’s love when I find them. When my husband and I went away for our anniversary a few weeks ago, he found a heart-shaped rock laying in the sand at the lake and gave it to me. “He knows me,” I thought. There is just something about being deeply known and loved anyway that is amazing.
We are not perfect. For perfectionists and idealists like me, the weight of that reality can be exceedingly heavy on the daily. We want things to be “right.” We want people to be “right.” We, for the love of God, just want to be “right.”
Right how? Right in every way possible. From thoughts to work to clothing to diet to beliefs, every single piece of life has to have order; reason; rightness.
Unfortunately, we live in a world full of the fall. Things are wrong. People are wrong. We, too, are so often wrong. In thought, in word, and in deed, we fail. We strive to grow and change and sometimes we do. But we fail in so doing. We fail in the preparation. We fail in the process. We fail in ways we did not even think possible. We get where we are going and we fail some more in new, more mature and modified ways.
I am not perfect. You are not perfect. The world is not perfect. I know I am not the only one who is often overwhelmed with the weight of that reality most days. Humanity is not “flawless” and anyone who wears that trending label is either insecure or in denial. Be it pride or presumption, put that thought away. Flawless will never,ever be a describing word for humans.
My biggest struggle – the strength and the weakness I go to battle with every single day – is a derivative of a perfectionist mindset. How can I strive to be better while learning to be content where I am – where God has mercifully brought me for today? How can I maintain motivation to be the very best I can while still remembering with great assurance that I really am ok with where I have come; where I am right this very moment? How do I learn to accept myself without being prideful and where is the fountain I can drink from whose fuel feeds the hope that one day in my future life I will for even just one moment not feel so much like a failure?
Disney answers with a fish. “Finding Dory” lures us in with a fish who forever feels like a failure – a fish who feels anything but flawless. Enter: Dory. Enter: Lori. They are one in the same. Funny, the flawed fish is the figure who reels us in. The forgetful fish is the kind of friend we all want to find.
The sequel to 2003’s “Finding Nemo” takes viewers from theater to theology. For me, “Finding Dory” was the most thought provoking movie I have seen in some time.
Dory always forgets…everything. From her direction to her dinner, Dory just cannot get it together and she knows it. She perpetually apologizes because she knows it so much. Dory’s humility makes her dear but her deepness often also defeats her. The one thing this fish dreams of doing – the one thing she is trying so hard to keep remembering – is finding her daddy. Dory lost her parents early in life and has made it her great ambition to find them. Her fateful flaw keeps her forgetting (and, consequently, makes it her fault) but her tenacious love and dire determination given to her from her parents’ great example drive her to stop at nothing to dive in to her destiny.
After almost two hours of discovering and rediscovering herself, Dory does it. She does not give up. In the end, no failure or friendlessness or flaw keeps Dory from finding her fate. When she finally finds her father and mother, she finds what most of us flawed failure fish flop around faithlessly forgetting. Dory finds that despite all her flaws and failures, she is not forgotten. Dory is deeply loved by her father and mother. Because she does not forget them, she finds them. Moreover, every single day since she left they have been waiting for her, laying our her favorite shells as a path to help her find home. In them, Dory realizes that it is ok to forgive herself – to be herself – because being perfect is not paramount. Dory does not have to obsessively say that she is sorry anymore. Her worth is not based upon her performance. Dory is loved because her parents love her and that is all.
Lori is loved because her heavenly Father loves her. He is waiting for her to stop faithlessly forgetting and remember again. You are loved because Christ loves you. He is waiting for you to stop faithlessly forgetting and remember again. Follow the path he has laid out. Surely you will find him waiting.
We are not perfect. There is just something about being deeply known and loved anyway that is amazing.