I feel as though I am practicing something or another constantly. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I am currently a college student. I come back from class, sit down, and practice my calculus. Or my chemistry. Or my cellular biology. Or whatever else I need to do. I practice until I feel confident that I have achieved a certain level of mastery, and hopefully show that level of mastery when I take my tests.
But I realized, rather recently, that a part of me was missing. I hadn’t been practicing my calligraphy lately. So I pulled out the scratch paper from the math and the chemistry and slowly started practicing a new hand right on top of all of it. (A “hand” is what calligraphers call what typographers would call a “font”.) And every once and a while, I would just pull out the endless scratch paper, right a few words or a phrase down, and put it aside again. But every time I would focus on the individual strokes that make up each letter until they improved and became more consistent. Maybe you can’t recognize the mistakes in my practice, but I can. So I will keep working until they are gone.
Christianity, to me, is not about being perfect. That automatically sets us up for failure. Instead, it is more about striving towards perfect. It is about practicing how to live like Jesus until it becomes a way of life. It is about learning from our failures and shortcomings. It is about knowing that it is okay to practice and to not to have everything put together right away.
Have we been practicing lately? Have we pulled out our bibles recently, or prayed a little more often? I’ll be honest, I haven’t. But practicing can take a lot less time than we think it needs to. For calligraphy, maybe just a few words every time I switch subjects. For Christianity, maybe just adding prayer into our routines a little more often or to pick up the Bible just a little more. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to practice.