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We all want to be perfect, do not make mistakes, have no problems with your neighbor, be appreciated by your boss in the office. To be loved by our parents, their spouse, and then loved by our children. Moreover, we sometimes ask our children themselves “to be perfect”, thus conveying from generation to generation a crazy constraint, a social pressure that is untenable. But from a spiritual point of view, what does it mean to be perfect? Does this mean “no flaw”, not make a mistake? Not so sure.
When we look at the old testament, the word “perfect” is actually used for two men whom we might consider to be irreproachable, Noah and Abraham.
From Noah we learn “This is the story of Noah. Among his contemporaries, Noah was a just man, perfect. Noah walked with God.” (Gen 06.09).
Abraham also walked with the Lord “When Abram turned ninety-nine, the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “I am the mighty God; walk in my presence and be perfect.” (Gen 17:01)
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So what connects Noah and Abraham is the fact that they walk with God. I would say “quite simply”, although obviously walking with God may seem complicated, especially in permanence. Walking with God, being tuned with God. Moreover, being granted does not always mean “agreeing”. It is seen with the prophets who insurgent or revolt against God (“After that Job opened his mouth and cursed on the day of his birth”, Jb 03.01).
Did you notice? It is not said that God walked with Noah, but the opposite. Noah was walking with God. God also asks Abraham to walk in his presence. As if God asked a friend to accompany him: “Would you like to take a walk with me? “
I remember, at the Sèvres Institute, a Jesuit father said, during a course, that he had always had trouble during the sessions of worship (??). Until the day he realized that the only thing God asked of him was to be his friend and be present. What a revelation he tells us.
I, too, sometimes struggle with worship. The grandiose side, symbolic, frightens me a little. On the other hand, I like meditation, letting myself go to fullness. A simple fullness, sitting, just looking at what I feel in the body, letting me go with. Or sometimes I accompany an invisible visitor, I make him visit my “house”, avoiding making too much noise.
So does God ask us to accompany him? Do we hear it or think we hear voices? Or an imperceptible, sweet music, like the sound of the wind that carries us, or the scents of flowers in a garden in the spring.
When we let ourselves go to accompany Him, we then have this sweet feeling of being in agreement, granted to Him. But are we perfect? I can't tell you. On the other hand, the path is much more pleasant.