I almost have a strict pull up.
We’re almost ready to compete.
I’m almost certain I know the answer.
I’m almost ready to buy a house.
The struggle of the almost. Right now, most of my life feels like almost. I haven’t yet arrived, but it seems close enough; at least close enough to keep me simultaneously frustrated and hopeful. My soccer team is almost ready to play with the big dogs. My reading goals are almost complete. I have almost attained a strict pull up. I’m almost ready to buy a house.
On good days, almost is encouraging. Almost reminds me how far I’ve come. Almost tells me these goals and dreams were big enough and worthy of pursuit.
On bad days, almost is hopeless. Almost reminds me I’m not there yet. Almost tells me I’ll never be good enough. Almost whispers and shouts my fears and inadequacies until I can’t take it anymore.
On good days and bad, almost focuses on me. How do I measure up? How am I performing? What skills and talents do I need to leverage? Who approves of me?
The lie of the almost is the belief that it ends. When we live our lives focused on ourselves and our strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and failures then we will never measure up. We will never arrive. We will never have all of the answers.
I think what I, and we, am chasing is shalom. The deep and abiding wholeness that can only come from God. Success, balance, and accomplishments are mere shadows of the rest and satisfaction resulting from satisfaction in God.
I love goals. I love achieving “things” and I will continue to set big goals for myself and work to achieve them. I would still go so far as to say I need goals to live a healthy life. However, I must be willing to live in the almost because I know that is where God reveals Himself abundantly sufficient. Though the sorrows may last for the night, joy comes in the almost. Or something like that.
Almost reminds me I am inadequate. I am weak. I do not measure up. God tells me he is sufficient. He is strong. He is perfect. My almost is his already done.