Thursday, April 11, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

It was time for our morning routine where Jake and I settle in on the couch and he reads me all his homework books. But alas, unbeknownst to us Jake had just progressed in his reading level from book set 3 to book set 4, and books from set 4 are twice as long as the ones he was used to in set 3. Weeping, wailing, whining, and refusal to comply ensued.

From Jake's point of view, he had waaaaaay too much homework. After all, he is only in kindergarten. And should kindergarteners really be asked to read for 45-60 minutes every day?

From my point of view I could see that extra reading would help his skills improve. Practice makes perfect, right?

It was a hard pill to swallow, and I tried to be empathetic. He eventually settled in to read with a piece of homemade wheat bread smothered in honey. (A spoonful of sugar--or honey--helps the medicine go down.)
All the while I was pondering how the same principle applies to me. If practice makes perfect, then getting up every day to face endless messes, laundry piles, whining, and tantrums ought to eventually make me a better person. As the weeks, months, and years pass, I hopefully become a little bit more patient, a little bit more calm, a little bit more compassionate, and a little bit more loving. Throughout the process the grace of Christ lifts, strengthens, and enables me to do things I couldn't have done before. I'm not sure I see the progress. But then again, does Jake recognize his reading progress? Probably not as much as I do. I hope that when God looks down on me He sees me as being more patient and kind than I was two, three, or five years ago. I hope so.

So perhaps the next time I hear anguished shrieking over a coveted toy coming from the next room I'll remind myself that practice makes perfect and respond a little better than the time before. If not, perhaps I'll just sit down with a nice slab of bread smothered in honey and remind myself that there's always tomorrow.

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