For what seemed to be the entirety of my childhood, I allowed the fear of not doing something (perfectly) well keep me from doing it at all. There were times I pushed past those feelings and tried out for team sports I wasn't terribly good at, but by and large I spent most of my youth as a closet pre-quitter.
The thing about quitting is that everyone agrees that no one should be a quitter; and yet all of us have more than enough excuses for why we simply can't do this, that, or the other...
- I will never have a consistent quiet time. Why should I even try if I can't get up at 5:30 AM like I want to?
- There's no way I could get in shape at my age. I'd have to train for a marathon if I want to get back to my pre-baby weight.
- Why should I even try and write a book? You have to have a super big platform to get published, and I'll never get there.
- Will my kids thrive in school with me as their teacher? Surely someone else is more patient and knowledgable than me.
- Maybe I should just forget writing on my blog, since I can't post consistently and frequently like blog strategies encourage you to.
- What difference will it make to clean and organize my home. It'll never stay that way.
But, I recently was reminded by pastor/author Dr. Rob Rienow (Visionary Family Ministries) of this poignant quote by G.K. Chesterton:
"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
Chesterton did not mean that the goal in our endeavors is to aim for mediocrity, but rather that we ought not let the fear of mediocrity keep us from doing something worthy at all:
So, here I am at the start of the week, staring down the list of all that I'd rather give up on, for fear that I cannot, will not, or may not do it to the degree that I find acceptable. What's on your list? Homemaking? Exercise? Homeschooling? Walking with the Lord? Pursuing a dream? Kindness to your husband?
Could it be that the most important things that you could be doing today are the very things that are worth doing, EVEN IF DONE POORLY?
Could it be that there is no one better to do these worthy things than you -- not because you are the most qualified, but because you are called?
Could it be that, like me, you have allowed yourself to be a closet quitter in your mind? Whether motivated out of pride or fear, our choosing to withdraw effort to what we think we not "good at" may ultimately be an issue of worship and belief.
"But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (Samuel 16:7)
He sees you, friend. Not for all that you believe are your failures, insecurities, or ineptitude...but for the forgiven, regenerate, and transformed he's bringing about in you.
We don't have to be quitters because our perfection is not what's keeping us abiding in Him or doing what He's called us to do. We add nothing to His perfect atonement...He is faithful. All we add is praise. That's enough for me to press on today.
Perhaps you need to be brave today, and just take the first step? Friends, He is faithful for your brave.
Pressing on in faith and not fear.
Because of grace,