I’m a first-born who’s struggled most of her life with wanting and trying to do IT ‘right’” Yet, always there’s been a nagging awareness, sometimes shrouded in shame, that I don’t—in fact, often, I can’t—do a lot of life according to my standard of ‘right.’
At times, uncertainty has kept me from enjoying the abundance of living life to its ‘fullest’ because I worried too much about its ‘rightness!’
When I established my personal set of core values several years ago, it didn’t take long to realize I wasn’t consistently living up to what I valued. A seminar—ironically, taught by a first-born—helped me reconcile at least a measure of my angst.
Dr. Sam Rima,  author, pastor, spiritual director, and older brother of my lead pastor, Mike Rima, noted a distinction between ‘actual’ values and ‘aspirational’ values. I may not have embraced Sam’s distinction in the way he intended, but I found the delineation strangely comforting. I realized, aspirations
encourage me to reach higher,
challenge me to dig deeper
inspire me to stretch wider than my current reality.
Furthermore, they remind me when my ‘actual’ behaviors aren’t congruent with heartfelt values, and motivate me to
examine misaligned behaviors,
ask forgiveness when I miss the mark,
persevere—one step at a time.
Philippians 1:6 is a favorite verse of scripture. In a letter to his friends in Philippi, the Apostle Paul reminded them (paraphrased a bit from the NIV):
[you can be] confident of this, that [God] who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…
As you continue to persevere in your journey, prayerfully exploring your core values, I hope you’ll join me in the confidence God is with us. God will help each of us enjoy ‘fully’ the good work created for us, and the strength to climb ‘rightly’ each step looming ahead.
Blessings on your journey…