Perfection is a goal that can never be achieved. No matter how good a person is, no matter how hard one tries- nobody is perfect.

PERFECTION 2

It is seldom that our imperfection appears for all the world to see. Stephen Gostkowski was not so fortunate last Sunday.  Over 51 million people were watching his shortcoming and millions more read or heard about it through news media or friends.

Gostkowski is an American professional football player for the New England Patriots. He is the most accurate kicker in the team’s history and one of the most accurate kickers in the history of the National Football League. He holds the record for highest average points per game scored over a career (8.67 points per game as of the end of the 2014 season).

He is the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer, the team’s all-time leader in field goals, and he holds the NFL record for consecutive extra points- 523 times the kicker has successfully executed the point after a touchdown.

Nine years since he missed one- until last Sunday.

ESPN said the missed kick early in the game “had lasting ramifications throughout Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.” If he had made the extra point, his team would not have had to attempt a two-point conversion that was intercepted with 12 seconds left in the game resulting in the Denver Broncos winning 20-18 and advancing to the Super Bowl.

Gostkowski said after the game that he felt like the miss “lost the game” for the Patriots. “It was my fault, 100 percent. I just didn’t hit a good kick.”

PERFECTION 3

Teammates and coaches rallied to Gostkowski’s defense. They acknowledged his contribution to the team’s winning efforts all season long. “It’s not Stephen’s fault at all,” special-teams captain Matthew Slater said. “We definitely wouldn’t be here [in the AFC title game] without him.”

Teammate Rob Gronkowski said. “It’s a team game. It’s not one individual’s fault. You can’t put it on the hands of Stephen.”

Cornerback Logan Ryan called him “the best kicker in the league”and other teammates had similar messages. In spite of all the support, Gostkowski said. “I never would have thought missing a kick in the first quarter would be the difference in the game, but that’s why you’ve got to be good all the time.”

PERFECTION 1

Stephen, no one can be “good all the time.” Everybody makes mistakes. No one should give less than their best but nobody is perfect.

What do you do when your best is not good enough? Winston Churchill said, “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes you must do what is required.”

Lawrence D. Elliott said in a Huffington Post blog, “Admitting when we just don’t measure up is difficult for many people. They believe it’s a sign of weakness to admit one’s deficiencies.” He goes on to say, “Although it does sting, the realization that you’re not good enough should not be an ego-crushing experience. It’s a recurring thing in our lives, so we’d better learn how to deal with it. It happens in all areas of our existence.”

PERFECTION 6

Christian singer Amy Grant confesses, “I did the best I could, and in some arenas my best was not good enough. I’ve made some bad choices.” That is true for all of us but we must learn to forgive ourselves. Most importantly, we must learn to accept forgiveness and affirmation. Nobody is perfect.

Forgiveness is a divine attribute. We need to learn to accept it for ourselves and to offer it to others.

Jamie Jenkins

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