Learning a musical instrument is the most rewarding and frustrating thing to do. For some reason we live in a society of false expectations. When we first pick up an instrument or learn a new skill, we automatically assume we can master it within five minutes. If it gets too hard, than we quit. This is especially the case with teenagers.You have permission to fail. #threewordwednesday Click To Tweet
There are thirteen teens in our church youth group band. That’s right. Thirteen. A few of them are brand new on their instruments. The group as a whole is super excited about playing, but there are those timid moments from a player or two.
In those moments, a player isn’t playing very loud or they think they can never get a rhythm right no matter how hard they try. This is all happening during practice where there is very little pressure. My philosophy about practice is to get all the mistakes out as much as possible before performing in front of a group. One phrase seems to change it all whenever I come across this situation.
You have my permission to fail.
Permission to play a wrong note, to come in early, to play late, to play out of tune. They all have permission to fail. Even the best musicians mess up every now and then.
When the band is given permission to fail, I can see their faces relax. There is a sigh of relief throughout the band. And sure enough, they move forward with more gusto than ever.
How often do I give myself permission to fail in life?
Like some of you, I am a recovering perfectionist. Everything has to be done in a particular way or else it isn’t perfect. And yes, this was all too true during my music days too. Why bother playing a piece if I cant’ get it right to begin with? But guess what? I easily became a quitter (and not in the Jon Acuff sense).May we embrace the perfect Son through our imperfections. #threewordwednesday Click To Tweet
We need to fail. We need to stumble, fall, trip over our own two feet in order to get back up again. I’m not referring to a life of sinful desires or an easy ride on the grace train. I’m referring to our natural abilities to make mistakes and take risks. Many times we don’t take those risks because of our fear of failure.
I am so concerned about doing everything “right”, including my walk with Christ. It’s probably why I have felt so insecure about working full-time. If we’re the odd man out than we must be doing something wrong, right? This isn’t always the case.
Christ is glorified through weakness. My insecurities and failures simply prove my need for a Savior. If I don’t fail, then I’m not aware of my own weakness. If I’m not aware of my own weakness, than I don’t see the work of Christ in my life.
So may we all obtain permission to fail. May we no longer be the timid musician who avoids making a mistake for fear of embarrassment. May we embrace the perfect Son through our imperfections.
Have you heard? Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts by Sarah Frankl and Mary Carver is out right now! You can order this wonderful book through Amazon (affiliate link included) or your local bookstore. In the meantime, you can also read my thoughts on choosing joy.