Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Practice Makes Better

     She spread the cards into a ribbon again, all facedown except for two in the middle faceup, the king and queen of hearts, side by side.
     "You're very good at that," Bernadette observed.
     "Daddy showed me."
     "You must practice a lot."
     "Do you ever feel the need to do something over and over until it's perfect?"
     "Practice doesn't make perfect. It makes better. Daddy told me that too....He didn't know a whole lot of tricks, but he got me started, and he always told me, 'Don't worry about getting perfect, just keep getting better.' And he wasn't just talking about card tricks."
     "Those were wise words."
--Illusion by Frank Peretti

People like to say "practice makes perfect." But it doesn't.

When I read Illusion, this passage stuck out to me. Because nothing I do is perfect. Nothing I do will ever be perfect. But I can keep getting better.

I look at my book covers, and they aren't perfect. Not by a long shot. But they do keep getting better. The Twisted Dreams cover is heads and shoulders above the cover for The Experiment. Does it look like a professional did it? No. But it's better, and if I keep practicing, I'll keep on getting better.

I play Autumn from "The Four Seasons," and I make lots of mistakes. I hesitate on the shifts and some of the double stops are off. But then I pull out concertos I learned four years ago and they're easy. I'm no concert violinist, but I've gotten better. And if I keep on practicing, I'll keep on getting better.

I look at my old stories, and I cringe at the bad writing. I look even at my earliest published books and I see that they're not up to the standard of my later books. Time Captives is far better than Across the Stars. Am I up to the level of C. S. Lewis and Charles Dickens? Certainly not. But if I keep writing, I'll keep getting better.

I look back on my life and I see my stumbles. I see where my faith was weak, where my character needed serious work, where my maturity faltered. But I look at myself now, and I see how far I've come. Am I perfect by the standard of Jesus Christ? Not even close. I have a long way to go. But I've come so far and as I continue to seek Him and He continues to work in me, I will get better.

Until we get to Heaven, nothing we do will be perfect. But while we are still here on earth, we can keep getting better.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I love this! I love when someone takes a common belief and turns it upside down pulling valuable truth from it! I also love Perriti's books - haven't read this one, though. And yes - this goes with my idea with talent. Sometimes people tell me about a certain thing "You're talented. I wish I could do that." I reply, "I'm not talented above you. I've just put a lot of work into this. And there are those who are even better than I who've put more time into their craft. Want to be talented, too? Never too late to start! Just have to want to. There's no such thing as untalented people - just some who have put more work into one thing, and some who don't (or put work in anohjer direction).

    God gave us wonderful lives - but it's up to us how they are developed. Where are we going to put our energy and efforts?

    Wonderful post!!



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