My three kids went to a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a local church. Though this church is not the one that my family attends, it is still a Bible believing church and definitely part of the Body of Christ. This particular church has a skate park for skateboarding enthusiasts. During VBS, my 8-year son watched as the older boys skated over the ramps and down the poles with their skateboards.
My son has his own board and helmet, and we take him to the park every once in a while. But when he saw those boys doing their stunts at the skate park, he would talk about nothing else. He begged me every day to take him to the skate park so he could practice his moves.
The church is on the other side of town, so I could never find the time to just swing by and let him skate. Finally, one day I was determined to get him to the skate park. I packed the kids’ lunches, and we made the trip over to the church. My son could not wait to skate, and I wanted to motivate him as much as possible.
When we got there, my son put on his helmet, grabbed his skateboard and walked quickly into the park. I sat down ready to cheer him on and take photos. My son is still a beginner, so he struggled with simply staying on the board. His hopes of skirting the ramp’s edge and sliding down the pole with his board floundered. He could barely make it one foot up the ramp before jumping off of his board.
I yelled encouragements, and after 10 minutes, my son was done. It was obvious he was disappointed, but I congratulated him on an amazing first skate at the park.
“I wasn’t as good as the other boys,” he said looking down.
“You are still learning,” I encouraged. “If you keep practicing, one day you will be just as good as the other boys.”
He looked up at me with his thoughtful brown eyes.
“Don’t forget,” I continued. “You have to be bad at something before you can become good at it. I’m proud that you began the journey to becoming the best skateboarder ever!”
He smiled and said, “I can’t wait to come back again!”
And that’s a truth that resonates: We have to be bad at something before we can become good at it.
Many of us never try new things because we are not willing to be bad at something. But if God is calling us to something new, we have to be willing to humble ourselves and make mistakes, learn from others and take a chance. Each time we let ourselves be bad at it, we get one step closer to mastering it. Every person who excels in a certain area was once terrible. Even raw talent needs to be cultivated. So let us get over ourselves and try something new!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43.19 (NIV)
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