Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Doing Something Worth Doing

"If a thing is worth doing" do you define what is really worth doing? "If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing badly" can you define what is really worth doing enough for it to be worth doing badly? At the top of my list are those things that show instant accomplishment: mowing a lawn, washing dishes, making a bed. While these things are considered chores, there is something to be said for being able to quickly strike a task from your to-do list. But things like that leave little room much less time to be done badly. So, does that say something as to there worth?

I have heard the plea for Reformation as opposed to Revolution time and again--the quality and importance of a thing being worked out and perfected over time rather than over night. When one really tries to live in that fashion--to invest in ongoing accomplishments, to soak in continuing education, to strive for a vision that may not be achieved in ones own life time--that in and of itself is a process worth pursuing. It is stretching and maturing. And the change over time shines so much more evident a light on the permanence of the endeavor. It is in those long spent, toiling days in which the small mile-stones and the completed chores of instant gratification mean so much more. To everything there is a season and to all things there is a purpose. So the short term brings a seed of hope to the ongoing labors of the long term. But that is the beauty of things worth doing. Because we are called to invest, because that requires time, because time leaves plenty of room for error, that is why life has been punctuated by small graces. That is why things worth doing are worth doing badly.

"If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing badly."
G.K. Chesterton

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well Pensive, being made in the image of God was a perfect idea. Then there was the fall. We aspire to be God, imagining we have the should have the power to instantly create the good we imagine. Thus we tend to revolutionary movements, instant coffee, and cheap reproductions of art found at the local mega mart. This instant achievement is idolized in our pop culture heroes who always seem to hit the top at rocket speed. Our children are expected to be born with all it takes, sure they only require a little prodding here and there.

Our era has no shortage of dreamers. However our dreamers tend more toward instant gratification than trite instant accomplishment. We have the visual image of a David as Michaelangelo’s which we want but we lack the true heart and vision of a Michaelangelo to endure the long process of chipping away the stone that is not David. The light bulb that enhances our lives in so many ways was proceeded by scores of non light bulbs and a string of failures but all this gave way to a vision, a progressive reformation taking one step at a time – one forward, two back ward, three forward.

Do we forget the model of physical life itself? After birth our complete helplessness doesn’t effect the demise as a race. It is overcome by a community aware of our inabilities and eager to assist us with our lack of capacity, as well as a drive and curiosity within for exploration, trial and error.

From within we cry for constant revolution. I am thankful for the grace of not having it. Let’s stop and smell the coffee, enjoy the moment, take a chance, fall, get back up, then be amazed the miles we traverse.