A few weeks ago, I got to spend the day with my two good friends and their new baby daughter. The husband wanted to surprise his wife for her birthday with a class to her newly expressed interest in woodworking (that’s what I said!). To know her, she is a very regimented, yet balanced woman, managing school and family and looking effortless the whole way. And while seeing her flourish in a creative craft is by no means a stretch, one as woodworking seemed… different.
“What made you decide woodworking?” I asked.
“Well, I love quality crafted wooden goods. And one day, I picked up a saw, and that was it!”
We both laughed (and kudos to her husband to translating that interest into a class rather than an actual saw!)
So, the following Sunday, while I got to spend the day being Uncle Gerald with the baby, the couple spent the entire morning sawing and whittling and emerged several hours later with a well-made, custom crafted bench for the foyer of their new home. Beyond impressed, I asked what was the inspiration?
The wife smiled, arms akimbo, and said, “I knew we wanted it, and I knew I could do it.”
“And it fits so perfectly!” I gleamed.
“Well, the pattern was designed for four feet, but I know we needed a six-foot bench here, so I adjusted as needed.”
Still pretty amazed that someone who literally had never even used a saw before was able to adapt and create such a piece, I asked her how she did it.
Then quite simply she replied, “Well, I just increased all the measurements by the same; it wasn’t so much about accuracy so much as consistency.” And in that moment, I heard God.
In how many places in our lives are we getting in our own way trying so hard to “get it right” when quite often what’s needed is starting and sticking with it? What projects, goals, opportunities, and dreams are staring us in the face, whispering in our ears, or breathing down our necks that don’t require perfection so much as persistence?
As I watched the couple nestle the new bench perfectly into the corner and begin to dress it with pillows, rearranging the lamp beside it, I realized it was literally meant to be there. And all it took was starting and staying with it the same way you started. You have the power to create what you want to see. What do you need to start and stay with?