This is the pot of pens in my kitchen. I expect you have one too. About twice a year I go through it, make sure all the pencils are sharpened, throw away dried up felt tips and remove all the random objects that have collected at the bottom. After about a week, it looks like this again.
The idea of the pen pot is that whenever someone sits down to do their homework, everything they need is already at their fingertips, and we don’t need to waste precious time searching for a pencil sharpener or a purple pencil or a protractor.
Of course, this is an impossible ideal, and often the pen pot contains everything except the item that someone absolutely can’t do without to finish their homework. But I persevere, because I believe that while I never do achieve the organisational perfection I strain for, it’s better to have a few felt tips, some biros and a pencil with a bouncy santa on the end than nothing at all…
A while ago I asked my group of girl guides to bring in a quotation that they believed in. It could be from anywhere and we had some wonderful contributions from a variety of authors from Maya Angelou to Winnie the Pooh. Possibly my favourite though, was this:
“Not everything has to be perfect”
Pause with that for a while…
Not everything has to be perfect
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to do things well. It just means sometimes it’s better to do something badly than not to do it at all.
Sometimes it’s great to give yourself the freedom to have a go at something and not be brilliant at it. After all, most artists started with stick men, most concert pianists once struggled to make their left hand do as it was told and I imagine even the best poets have occasionally written something dreadful. Creativity always carries the risk that whatever you’re making might turn out badly, that’s part of its joy.
Is God calling you to do something you’re worried aren’t all that brilliant at?
Is he asking you to take a risk and do something that it might take a lot of practice to do well?
Are you discounting yourself and your gifts and wondering why God doesn’t find someone ‘better’ to do the job?
Not everything has to be perfect.
It turns out that it’s good to have an imperfect and slightly random collection of pens. It’s not perfect, but it’s still good.
Just like you.