It doesn’t have to be the blue iris.
This is the first line in one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver. The poem is about prayer, but I think it can be about so many other things as well.
How often do I try and produce the best, most perfect, most error free things? How often do I not do something because I’m afraid I won’t do it well?
Yesterday on the way home, I was jamming to 90s hits. It had been a long time since I had turned on music in the car with my boys and just sang along. And rest assured, I knew ALL the words.
My kids were surprisingly quiet during my rendition of everything from Natalie Imbruglia to Backstreet Boys. It was fun!
Until… until it wasn’t. There was definitely a moment when I started to think about whether or not I sounded okay. Was I on key? Did I look a bit silly going full on in these songs to the cars riding past me? Why were my boys so silent anyway? I tried to glance at the in the rear view mirror to see.
How did I turn my fun jam on the way home into a performance that needed critiquing? It happened so quick, I almost didn’t see it coming.
That’s why I love this poem by Mary Oliver so much. It reminds me that in prayer, but also in life, I can’t let perfection keep me from going all in.
Turns out, some of the best things in life come out of our mistakes, our flaws, and our imperfections.
Pray with me:
“It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”
Let us not be afraid today to sing out in praise for this one precious life we’ve been offered.