I’ve always been a sucker for some Jane Austen. My Aunt is a big fan and I remember watching Sense & Sensibility with her as a young teenager. My mom is a big chick-flick person too so we love to watch them together. And my entire family – even my dad and my brother – went to go see Pride & Prejudice in the theater when it first came out.
In high school I read Emma in my senior english class. It was great. But I have a confession. I never finished the book. Yep, that’s right. See I was in this phase were I was VERY busy and decided that taking shortcuts (i.e. Cliffnotes) was acceptable if it meant I graduated. Not one of my wiser choices in life. Ok well, some of those books I could care less about but Emma? I wish I would have read the whole thing.
Now, I find myself craving some Jane Austen or other acceptable classic literature. When this happens I always think of this quote from Pride & Prejudice:
“Your list of the common extent of accomplishments,” said Darcy, “has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half-a-dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished.”
I want to be accomplished. I think that every woman has a desire to be “an accomplished women”. To be a good wife or mother, to have a clean and nicely decorated house. To be the best in her profession. To entertain others and be a woman of many friends. A quick look at any popular women’s magazine would reveal that a lot of women want these things.
But what if we looked at being accomplished from a different perspective? What would it mean to be truly accomplished in the eyes of the Lord? Would he want a perfect house? Children who never disobey? A successful career? I don’t think it’s wrong to want any of these things and I believe that the Lord calls us to some or each at various points in our life.
But praise the Lord that He doesn’t require us to be accomplished. God isn’t like Mr. Darcy or Jane Bingley. He doesn’t have a long list of qualities for people to be accepted as His. Truth is, the only accomplished he needs was already accomplished on the cross. Doesn’t that make you happy? It makes me smile. All of my striving, trying, struggling to be a better person doesn’t make me look better in the eyes of God. He looks at me and sees someone who is beautiful and reflects the image of His son. I know I haven’t even begun to understand the ramifications of that truth.