It seems to me that life is more about practice than perfect. When I keep this in my thinking, I don’t get so easily discouraged. Indeed, it seems to me that the journey to success are various sizes of incremental improvements. Some increments are big & some improvements seem infinitesimal. Furthermore, I often learn more from my failures than success, particularly when I think of failing as a verb & not just a noun.
“That was practice,” I said with a smile to the Post Office guy when I swiped my credit card too soon. I was shipping a book to someone & was in hurry because of all the things I needed to accomplish that day. The Post Office guy chuckled & I was glad he saw the humor in my weak explanation for being impatient.
There are lots of things I’m not good at such as being patient, planning, follow through and loads of other stuff.
I’m not ok with just accepting these shortfalls, nor can I afford to dismiss them as irrelevant. The other way I try to let myself off the hook sometimes is by rationalizing that these weaknesses are too big for me to overcome.
Maybe you have some weaknesses that might seem insurmountable to you as well. Here are two things for your encouragement:
Think in terms of practice – the way we get better, even in small ways, is by practice, a process of continual improvement.
With the Holy Spirit living in us, nothing is impossible!
Let’s keep focused on the Helper & keep practicing!
Failure is merely the evidence that more practice is needed. I have a fun list of things that I’m pretty good at: languages, cooking, basketball, travel, etc. But the only reason I’m good at these things is because I’ve had alot of practice with them that has included boatloads of failures. I don’t think I could even begin to list all of the burned or raw chickens I’ve made, the traveling bloopers I’ve done – especially with Saving Moses, baskets I’ve missed and comical mistakes I’ve made trying to learn various languages. Failure is nothing more than an investment for success as long as we don’t quit 🙂
When my kids were younger, I had a fairly consistent of habit of making at least 2 attempts to get to the car before I was successful. I was always forgetting something – keys, wallet, bag, coat, shopping list, etc. My husband always knew that my 1st effort to leave would always have some follow up attempts as well & we now joke about this 🙂 He teases me & I always say that my first effort(s) are practice until I can get it right.
Practice is super important – it’s where we make mistakes, improve our skills, learn better ways, grow through endurance, etc. Indeed, practice is an essential ingredient for success! So if you find yourself having to practice alot, don’t get discouraged – you are merely getting continually better!! Consider that today’s results of the consequences of yesterday’s practice & today is the essential practice that we will need for tomorrow’s success 🙂
Here’s something I’ve been thinking about – my Hebrew teacher says this us: direction & not perfection. He wants us to try, even though we may make a mistake. I’ve been thinking about this because I know that there are alot of times when I don’t try something because I know I’ll be bad at it, or I’ll look stupid, or I know that I’ll fail, or . . . . . I think we are all like this to varying degrees. Maybe you shy away from sports because you’re not athletically “inclined”. Maybe you avoid musical instruments because you don’t have “that knack.” Maybe you avoid certain things because in the past, you’ve had failures in those areas. While I think there’s some wisdom about how & where we spend our time, efforts, talents, etc; I also think that we need to be careful about how we potentially limit ourselves and even possibly God. I think that sometimes our “no” could be an indirect way of telling God that He won’t be able to use us in a particular circumstance or situation. Let’s be careful that we don’t justify our “no” to God based upon our past, our comfort or our talents & abilities.
Remember, God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the call. God doesn’t use the perfect, but rather the broken. God doesn’t depend on your ability as much as you availability. Perfection is for heaven & practice is for earth – don’t quit practicing 🙂