In the middle of this stay-at-home order, I am attempting to do something I’ve never done before. It is frustrating. I’m not that good at it! It seems so simple. I’ve been working on it for three long weeks — two steps forward and three steps back, not like a dance, more like a writhing, yanking, and seizing. No wonder we don’t try to learn new things. It’s humbling. Who among us intentionally wants to be humbled?
It would be so easy to miss the value that is coming from this experience — after all, it appears to be producing nothing or even worse. This morning I’m forcing myself to find the benefits of the worse-than-nothing new experience. Here goes:
1) I am learning some new things even though they are not at the level of excellence that I would prefer. I have both a new awareness and understanding, while still lacking skill.
2) I’m recognizing the need for grace. When we’ve never done it before, we’re not supposed to do it excellently the first time or even the twelfth time. Recently, I heard someone define grace as wanting to give more than we are willing to receive.
3) Putting myself in a place where I need extra doses of grace is stretching. I’m deliberately pushing outside of my comfort zone to a place of growth. Growth, be it slow coming and frustrating, is exactly where I want to be. What’s the alternative?
4) I’m frustrated, and the truth is, I may not get the results I wanted which puts me face to face with failure. Failure is a great teacher. The lessons that come from this failure will shape my future successes.
If you are crisis schooling three children, while working from home with two cats, a dog, a bunny and a spouse underfoot, you are doing things you’ve never done before. Likely, you’re irritated, frustrated and probably failing at a few things. Congratulations! Congratulations, real benefits are coming out of this season — new awareness and understanding; fresh grace for yourself and others; growth in capacity, skills and even tolerance; and the opportunity to learn from a failed experiment. (Scientist love failed experiments. It reveals so much that was formerly unknown.)
Whatever you’re in the middle of that lacks your usual standard of excellence, chose grace and growth!