In a world of Pinterest perfection, it’s easier than ever to suffer that paralysis of creativity that occurs in the face of others’ brilliance. While we may observe with appreciation, we find ourselves unable to put our own pen to paper. The empty canvas stays tucked away in the corner of the garage and we content ourselves with the works of others.
Just like that: generations of beauty and blessings are lost. Lost to the lie that if a thing is worth doing, it’s only ever worth doing brilliantly.
It’s not a phenomenon unique to our technologically-advanced society. In fact, it was the master of observation, G K Chesterton, who first turned that phrase on its head: “If a thing is worth doing,” he said…”it’s worth doing badly.”
His thought behind this curious statement? Celebrate the beauty in the process of doing something worthwhile. And do it. Simply because it is worthwhile.
It’s a phrase that resonates deep in my soul and motivates me to enjoy creating with as much abandon as a toddler with finger paints. Do it. Enjoy it. Experience it. Sure, a job done well is a worthwhile pursuit, but a job done is equally worthwhile.
It’s worth making dinner for my family every night. So, the overcooked spaghetti is a far cry from Masterchef? If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly. And the laughter around the dinner table, as we discuss the stories from our day, feeds the soul as daily as our mediocre meals feed our bodies.
It’s worth telling a person the gospel. So, I stumble over my words and feel my cheeks redden in my fumbling? If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly. So, I pray and thank God that it’s my obedience He requires, not my perfection.
It’s worth exploring the world of beauty and art and music and words. So, my childlike doodles only ever dance across my private journal? And my fingers can only stumble childlike across the piano keyboard? If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly. And so, I stop. I smile. I close my eyes and relish the subliminal joy that is the blessed gift of a thing worth doing.
And I say, “Thank You.” Thank you to the one who gives us so many things worth doing.