Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tweaking and the Pursuit of Perfection

Earlier today a friend mentioned that quite often his clients ask him to "tweak" a project, but in reality want to make a major change. Most often they ask for a tweak because it would presumably cost less than a change. Funny how semantics work that way. I found it amusing that this topic would even come up because tweaking has been on my mind a lot recently. I think our culture has a huge problem with tweaking. It is like we're a nation of Tweakaholics.

What is tweaking, really? According to the Oxford Dictionary Online (it sounds credible, doesn't it?), to tweak something is to make fine adjustments to it. I think of tweaking is making it "just right". The problem is that "just right" is so elusive. Perfection really will never be found this side of heaven.

Tweaking is a luxury, really. It is what you do when you no longer have to get your most basic needs met and can move on to some level of fulfillment. The only problem is, that the tweaking is almost always done in an area that never will truly fulfill.

What if we collected the time we spend tweaking our lives and used it for some nobler purpose? What if we were less obsessed about what we look like or what we wear or what we eat or what we live in or what we drive and turned that time, energy, and resources in a more worthy direction? What if we spent the bulk of who we are in pursuit of things that do not fade away, wither, and die? Almost nothing we tweak can be taken with us. Not waistlines or kitchen counters or paint colors or hair or engines or term papers.

There is no perfection this side of heaven. We are told that "godliness with contentment is great gain" (I Timothy 6:6). We are to hold on to things very loosely. We are to hold on to life itself very loosely. Maybe we should try doing less tweaking and more loving. I wonder what that would look like.


  1. Were you at church 2 or 3 Sundays ago when Bob described love as "You are in right standing with me. (Just as I am in right standing with God through Jesus.) Now we can work on what we need to work on." That's what I thought of (this way of describing love has really stuck with me) when I read the last paragraph. I picture: Because I love you, you are in right standing with me. --- Pause as long as needed --- We can work on what we need to but it doesn't change the first part. To me, it is freeing. It is patient.