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 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, working a factory line, 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.
I am challenging myself this week to identify those tasks that I do repeatedly (often with little thought) and focus on doing them as unto the Lord. When I drive, I need to pay attention to that task (no texting, messing with the radio, chatting on the phone). When I am working around the house, to do so with a heart of gratitude for what the Lord has let me own. Even when I am brushing my teeth to remember that I am a steward of the body He entrusted me with.
So, join me…let’s all intentionally do our “work” this week. History proves that kind of perfect practice can yield a great result! (“He loves you yeah, yeah, yeah…”)
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel