Earlier tonight, I had the privilege of hearing a church planter share the exciting things that God is doing through his church. He talking about how frequency is important with getting the word out when he went and used a blogging analogy which immediately made me hide my face.
"It's like blogging. You can't just blog once in a while. It's all about frequency. Otherwise, what happens?"
Immediately a few people in the room (who happen to be related to me) simultaneously cast knowing glances in my direction as I hid behind my paper, and thought, I know the answer to this one. They stop reading!
Later on this evening I was folding laundry and feeling guilty about my lack of blogging frequency. I was thinking, I really need to sit down and finish those three blog posts I started a month ago when God tapped me on the shoulder as He usually does when I'm swimming in a sea of excuses.
I have a confession. When I fail to blog, it's usually I get stuck in a little rut of perfectionism.
I used to just sit down and write the first thing that came to mind. Then I'd hit publish. That's what blogging's supposed to be right? Just get your thoughts out there informally.
But a funny thing happened when a few people told me they actually read my rambling. I returned to the writing process of grade 9 language arts. Outline.. rough draft... edit... second draft... find pictures... reread... reread... edit... shorten... get to the point. That all has to happen before I can hit publish. Unfortunately, that process often takes an unnecessary amount of time and kind of defeats the purpose of blogging.
In the meantime, God has continued to lay things on my heart to write about but they're getting backlogged in the unnecessary process of perfectionism, (and maybe a tad of everyday life!)
As I stood there folding, I could feel Him saying, just make progress. I will make it perfect.
I was reminded of a quote I read a while back out of "Unglued," by Lysa TerKeurst. She writes:
"What kept me from making changes was the feeling that I wouldn't do it perfectly. I knew I'd still mess up and the changes wouldn't come instantly. Sometimes we girls think if we don't make instant progress, then change isn't coming. But that's not so, there is a beautiful reality called 'imperfect progress.'... Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace... So, I dared to write this in my journal:
Progress. Just make progress. It's okay to have setbacks and the need for do-overs. It's okay to draw the line in the sand and start over again- and again. Just make sure you're moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps but at least take steps that keep you from being stuck. Then change will come. And it will be good."
Here's the thing. There are lots of different things God has called each us to do. Sometime's we're a bit like Noah (God said, Noah did) and other times we are a bit more like Jonah (God said, Jonah didn't) but we have less obvious names for it. We call it busy, bad timing, imperfect or there's someone who can do it better rather than plain disobedience.
The reality is, whatever God calls you and I to do, He equips us for. He has a solution for each one of my excuses, but often we fail to believe Him.
So I must ask- what thing are you putting off because you can't do it perfectly?
Maybe it's a simple task, a relationship or a change you know you need to make in your life. I would be willing to bet that today God wants to give you enough to at least take a step forward, even if it's just a baby step.
I so badly want to be a Noah. God said, she did. But if I'm being honest, it's a bit more like this:
God said, she didn't. God said, she waited. God said, Stephanie saw something shiny...
Change is important to me. Becoming more like Jesus is important to me. But sometimes I get discouraged because I want changes to happen at the same speed my iPhone charges at when it's out of battery. And it never does. It takes many steps of imperfect profess strung together.
Tonight, faced with the reality of my imperfect-ness, I just need to pray and say, God, forgive me for my excuses. Help me to make a little imperfect progress. Give me the faith to believe you're enough for whatever I lack and whatever you have laid before me.
I would invite you to do the same. Take a moment and pray.
I would be willing to bet that He is ready and willing meet you where you're at, and to equip you for whatever He's put in your path next.