Do you worry too much about the steps?
Do you ever get stuck on the question “am I doing this right?”
I do. All the time.
When I was in high school, we had a lot of free periods. We weren’t allowed to just wander the hall, so we had to pick a teacher’s class to spend our free periods in.
As a young freshmen, I found myself in random rooms sometimes just trying to get in before the bell. One day, I skirted into the art room just in time. I had never taken an art class before. The messy desks with ink and paint stains combined with the art and photographs plastered on the walls was a little overwhelming to my senses at first.
The art teacher welcomed me and invited me to sit down and create something. So, I shyly sat down among the upperclassmen and got a piece of paper and a pencil and tried to sketch a perfect image of two haystacks from a picture of a Monet painting.
It was kinda humbling. I kept sketching and erasing, sketching and erasing. I just couldn’t get the dang haystacks right. I’m sure my face was also turning bright red as the teacher walked around helping other students.
I stared so hard at the paper, I didn’t realize when the teacher was right beside me. He placed a tin of pastels on the table next to me and told me to ditch my pencil. “Stop. It doesn’t have to be Monet’s work. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Let go and see what happens.”
At the end of the period, I showed him my haystacks. Colorful and blurry and definitely… original.
He smiled at my work and said “You know, that’s the best I’ve seen you do yet.”
I’m in a state right now of over focusing on the steps. It’s keeping me up at night. It has me revising and reordering and erasing again and again. Last night, I came across these words of Anne Lamott and I immediately thought of that moment in the art room so many years ago. I never took a class with him, but that moment in a free period was all he needed to make an impact.
And it was far from scripted.
So if you struggle with getting lost in the steps too… I see you.
May we be given the grace to put down the pencil and just dance today.