A few months ago, I was really frustrated with my writing. I was entering a contest, and I wanted to get everything just right. I wanted my chapter to be perfect, and anything short of that didn’t seem good enough. Then, I saw a box of crayons, and the Lord reminded me of a lesson I’d started to learn long ago.
When I was in 1st grade, I used to take my red crayon and draw a big red X across my workbook page if I had a single incorrect answer. It didn’t matter if there were 20 questions, and I got 19 out of 20 right. If I missed one answer, the whole page was wrong. I concentrated on where I’d fallen short instead of on where I’d succeeded. I wanted perfection.
It used to drive my teacher crazy, and it took a lot of scolding on her part, before I got it through my head: I didn’t need to throw out everything that was good because of one mistake.
I’ve since grown up and put away my crayons. But sometimes I still focus on the spot and forget to appreciate all that’s right, whether it’s in the beauty of a day or in my writing.
I think each of us can get so caught up in the step we missed or where we fell short that we stop climbing. We miss the mountaintop because we trip on a pebble. And too often we forget that we don’t run alone.
The Lord doesn’t expect us to get everything perfect, not in our lives or in our writing. But He has called us to keep on running, to keep on writing, and to keep our eyes on the finish line. Perseverance. Determination. Not perfection.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12: 1-2, NIV)
By Sherry Schindelar (sherryshindelar.com)
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