Daily Step – It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.


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.

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