When the Beatles came to America in 1964, I was one of those screaming teenage girls greeting their arrival. I wasn’t at the airport, but you should have heard me as they sang on the Ed Sullivan show. (Those of you under the age of 50 can just look up that show!)
Apparently, before they came over the Atlantic and had their “great unveiling,” they had put in hundreds of hours playing in local Liverpool gigs. But instead of just a line of one hour concerts, those four lads would perform for up to eight hours a night, sometimes seven nights a week. During that season, it is estimated that they performed live over 1200 times. That is more than most modern bands might do in their entire careers.
I mention that story because I saw an article about the premise that “practice makes perfect.” The contention is that the more we do a skill, the better we get at it. Recent articles assert that 10,000 hours of practice assure mastery in any endeavor.
But I think Vince Lombardi (famous football coach) had it right when he said, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” We not only need to have plenty of repetition of something we are trying to master, we need careful, thoughtful repetition.
That thought is captured in scripture too. Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord not for human masters.”
Whatever we do: changing the baby, writing a legal brief, selling insurance, driving kids to school…whatever we do, our repetition needs to be done with all our heart.
To do something with all your heart requires real focus. It is not just mindless repetition; it is purposeful accomplishment with a measureable goal in mind.
Let’s challenge ourselves this week to identify those tasks that we do repeatedly (often with little thought) and focus on doing them as unto the Lord. When we drive, we need to pay attention to that task (no texting, messing with the radio, chatting on the phone). And when we drive by a certain neighborhood, maybe take a moment and pray for our friends who live nearby.
When we are working around the house, let’s do so with a heart of gratitude for what the Lord has let us own. Even when we are brushing our teeth to remember that we are stewards of the body He entrusted us with.
At your desk, stand up every now and again (it’s great for your circulation) and ask the Lord to keep your mind sharp, your communication clear and your relationships with co-workers open and friendly. Let’s all intentionally do our work this week “as-unto-the-Lord.” History proves that kind of perfect practice can yield a great result!
And remember, “He loves you yeah, yeah, yeah…”