Is It Worth Doing?
As the phrase goes, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly; or something along those lines. Most of us never undertake to learn something, accomplish something, or create something, simply because we are afraid of doing a poor job. The reality is that the most beautiful artwork, awe-striking creations, and amazing organizations take tons of hard work to get to where they are. When you first start playing the fiddle, it will always sound like a back alley cat fight.
Now, this isn’t an admonition to end up on one of those TV talent shows, screeching away, embarrassing your loved ones. In trying to learn a new skill, be ready to not be very good at it. Although your singing may increase the prayer life of the audience (as they implore the good Lord to help you hit that note), this is not an excuse to continue pursuing a talent that just isn’t there. You sometimes just can’t put in what God left out.
This should never be a reason not to try to learn to sing, paint, learn HTML coding, or play the fiddle. It does mean that you shouldn’t try to perform with Charlie Daniels anytime soon. But you will most certainly never sound good if you never learn to play. So, be ready for the long haul, be honest with whether you’re actually gifted at the thing you’re pursuing, and listen to the constructive feedback from trusted sources.
Just Do Stuff
The reason for this admonition is not primarily to motivate my readership to take up a hobby. The real exhortation here is in the arena of Christian living, and especially as it pertains to the home. Being a spouse, a sibling, a parent, a child, an in-law, etc. is both a calling and a responsibility. You cannot change the fact that you have the family you do; you can change how you invest (i.e. take responsibility) in those relationships.
Make it your aim, that in your familial relationships you are endeavoring to meaningfully love, care for, and encourage those closest to you. Sometimes this means trying your hand at things you might not be very good at. As a young husband and father, I can attest to the fact that the sort of husband and father I want to be is not always the fellow I am. Listening & focussing on what my wife is saying, playing energetically with my high-energy pre-schooler, thoughtfully investing in all my immediate and extended family requires a great deal of intentionality. To show love in creative ways, takes a willingness to do some of those things poorly at first, with an aim to get better along the way!
In many areas of life, it would be better to do things poorly, than do nothing. Especially when it comes to loving your spouse, children, family, friends and neighbors. A loving act done poorly, is better than never expressing love. Writing poetry to your spouse will not be magnificent the first time you try to rhyme something with “your blue eyes”. As an example, make an attempt to write a poem a week for a year, and soon, you’ll find a better dexterity at that craft.
Playing with small children and spending time with them takes diligent thought, care, attention to detail. Better to do it, even if it is “wobbly”, than just give up and watch TV. Again, something poorly done, is better than nothing ever done.
Loving Well Means Starting Somewhere
So, while I have a big passion for doing things with excellence, we must also remember that we ought to aim to do things as good as we can do it. You may not be the best at it, but aim to give your all to your work, hobbies, and most especially, loving your family well!
So, when it comes to loving family and friends, if I can put it this way, do it “badly”; trusting that God blesses obedience. In essence, learning to love well means you have to start somewhere.