“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 NLT
“Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” — Robin Sharma
Why, oh why do we feel shame if we are a beginner? Babies learning to walk don’t feel shame, some bumps and bruises along the way, and they fall down many times before they run. Learning to ride a bicycle was daunting in my childhood years, yet I persisted and soared through forests, bumpy dirt roads and grassy vacant lots. Then I tackled ice-skating. Ouch! I had no embarrassment or shame in learning to play a game, the computer, driving. I did as I got older and someone saw me struggling. The focus was taken off the activity and onto me. When did it become shameful to become a beginner? I made many mistakes as a widow. I’ve never been a widow before. When I became a manager, I made mistakes. I’d never managed before. Quitting destructive behaviors. I’d never done that before. In fact, destructive behaviors are quite easy to pick up. Well, except when I started smoking and had to smoke a pack till I was nauseous, dizzy and green.
We are all new at something for the rest of our lives. Old? Yep. You’ve never been old before. Married? Yep. Never done that before. And if you’re remarried, you’ve never been married to that particular person before. New job? Yep. New people and skills to sharpen our education. Grace, loads and loads of it, is needed in all beginning situations. We’re all beginners at something.
What to do?
Show up!!! Take a class, ask a friend or mentor for help, read a book, do an online search, ask God for wisdom and courage. You’ll still fumble at first. But every day you show up, you’re making progress. Sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly. Drop the embarrassment and if someone teases you, you can bet they’re new at something too. Say a quick prayer for the outlier and put you focus on Him. The One who does all and is all. Struggle. We all have messy beginnings and middles.
Father, I was new when I became a part of your family with failures, sins and regrets. You welcomed me any way. Being new at anything in this world is humbling, scary, requires patience, discipline and trust. Hold back my shame in being a beginner. Help me to accept that we all,l from infants to the very old, are learning new things. Help me to be kind and understanding with beginners in my life. “Unless we become like children…”