In a poignant scene, Randall is shaking because he is afraid he won’t get the best grade in his class on a project. This led to him shaking and crying coming to his parents. His father, Jack, held his head in his hands and tells him to breathe (a technique he uses with his father before his death).
All of his anxiety, however, is self-imposed. Randall always felt like he needed to prove himself to his parents. Adopted as a baby, he never felt like he fit. When his teachers tell his parents he is gifted, they put him in a special private school so he can reach his potential. However, the academic pressure is tough on him. This affects him as an adult. Proving he is the best at his company, he has to compete against a new member of the company, who has a reputation to be the best in the business. This compounded with his father’s failing health and Beth’s mom’s fall at her home culminates in another nervous breakdown. His pursuit of perfection proves destructive to his mental, physical and emotional state.
I have been someone who has tried to prove my worth by being perfect. Striving to get straight A’s I tried to earn my parents’ and others’ approval. It wasn’t until the years when I got my Masters that God stripped away my need to hide behind my intelligence and accept God’s approval of me. When I could do this, I was set free.
Randall has a ticket to freedom, too. It lies in his acceptance of who he is and God’s approval of him. He just has to break up with perfect.
What about you? Do you need to break up with perfect? Does your idea of needing to be perfect rob you of the freedom you desire in Christ?