Sunday, July 24, 2011

Waiting on Perfection

"He that has began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6
Ever seen those cars with the sign 'Student Driver'?  Most of us have.  I don't know about you, but I usually try to avoid them.  Whoever is in the driver seat, more often than not, has the timid behavior of a field mouse and drives slower than molasses.  I know that, if I'm behind them, I'll either be late to where I'm headed or end up rear-ending them when they slam on their brakes due to a low-flying bird... or what they THOUGHT was a low-flying bird.

I know its stereotyping and kind of mean, but we've all been in that seat, so you know I'm right.  In the beginning, none of us were the *ahem* EXCELLENT drivers we are now.  It took practice, persistence, prayer, and patience on the part of our teachers to get us through those tremulous first months.

Actually, if you've ever driven in SoCal, you'd think that none of the drivers on the road had graduated from those first months.  But, I digress.

Have you ever known an actual artist?  Most of us have gone to museums, but what you're seeing when you look at those masterpieces is the finished product.  You don't see the practice sketches, the thought process, the doodles, or the pieces that didn't make it.  You don't see the ones the masters even thought weren't half bad, because in their eyes, if it wasn't perfection, it just wasn't.

Nope.  The only thing you're seeing is the shiny, sparkly 1% inspiration that came after that 99% perspiration.  I have a small idea, because my brother in law is an artist.  I've seen some of his stuff from high school and I've even seen one or two of his childhood drawings.  In my opinion -no matter how good I think they are- they aren't nearly as good as what he's doing now.  And the thing is, even when he's doing a piece now, there's a thought process and hours of work (most of the time) to get it to the point to where he's happy.  When you see one of his pieces in the beginning, you have no clue what it will look like, but he knows- or, at least, he has a MUCH better idea than you or I.

And -not to be conceited by lumping myself in with artists, but- when I write, its a process: words crossed out, rewritten, crossed out again; statements written and rewritten; statements said out loud to see how they sound; and -more often than not- everything is a first draft in a lined notebook before typed up.  All of this done so that, when I look at the final product, I'm happy.

Just like any other piece of artwork, we're a process.

I try to remind myself of that fact every time I screw up- with my kids, with my husband, friends... Sometimes I'd just like a shirt that says "Work in Progress- please be patient".  I feel that it would make life a whole lot easier.

Its all too easy to get frustrated with myself when I mess up, but I'm just thankful that this isn't the final product.  I'm not the 'Mona Lisa' yet.  I'm still a sketch- a doodle.  And thank God for that because there are times when I don't just feel like a doodle; I feel like a doodle that wasn't even worthy enough to remain in the sketch pad, so it was torn out, crumbled up, and thrown away.

So, I'll patiently wait til I'm perfected.  While I'm waiting, however, I think I'll buy that shirt.

If you liked the post, then PLEASE post the button!


  1. Great post!!!! One of my favorite topics actually--because I battle the temptation to give up any task that I can't do perfectly...which would be EVERYTHING--LOL! Thanks for the great perspective!

    Visiting from VoiceBoks :-)

  2. Great quote and I like the new look too. Visiting because I am stalking you now.

  3. Lovely post. As a writer, I understand the very hard process of creating "art." But I also liked how you related this to us being children of God, too. Very encouraging!

  4. Nice! I'll be buying the shirt, too, if you find it - lol.
    Visiting from VB!
    Carla :)

  5. Great post! It's really important to remind ourselves that we are works in progress and not to be so hard on ourselves.

    I'd like one of those shirts, too!

  6. Perfectly said! We really are still work in progress hoping to reach perfection.

    Love your site and stalking you now. hehe...

  7. I think we all need a shirt like that... The new look is great!!

  8. I love how you wrote this blog post. :) It's so true that we are all a work in progress. And I love that God is the One molding us into His fine and perfect art. Well said, my friend.

    So glad I discovered your blog through voiceboks.


  9. So true and well said(written). I was just driving in SoCal, and was shocked at the driving there! Seriously stressful and crazy.
    Thanks for a great post,

  10. Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments. I'd go to each of your pages and thank you personally, but as it is, I'm attempting to do this one handed (since I'm holding a baby in one arm). You guys are awesome!


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