Earlier this evening The Bear was in Sauder Concert Hall on the midwestern campus of Goshen College, listening to the incredible harmonies and delicate musical precision of The Wailin’ Jennys. Such inspiring perfection is hard to come by, and enthralling to hear. Many a bear might otherwise wonder, what in MY life approaches such perfection? What have I worked so hard and long at to be counted among the best at what I do?

Those of us who are not proud might be tempted to lessen ourselves by thinking such thoughts, with regret and sadness. But I choose to think of these singers as fine inspiration — inspiring you and me to quietly and confidently strive for something moving in that same direction towards perfection in the things that we love to do.

There are things I have done well.

As I think about it, I picture this singular life I am living now as like unto a playing card on the table, with the rest of the deck arrayed about it. My life is that one card; every other card is another of my lives in the multiverse. I have made many choices over the years, and at each of those deliberate course changes and corrections my life has run in multiple directions at once. Some of those lives, from my viewpoint, are approaching perfection, some are nearer to me, some are farther away. I own them all… they are all me. I am not lessened by the perfection of others, I am inspired by it.

IN another card there on the table lives another ME that marvels at this card here, and dreams with envy and delight on the life I am privileged to be living here. From my own vantage point, perfection is far away, in other lives I could have lived… and yet it is here too, right here in my own card. Surely part of that perfection includes spending a few moments listening — just this evening — to the perfect harmonies of The Wailin’ Jennys!

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