Over the years, I have enjoyed a variety of artistic pursuits. There’s a collection of rubber stamps, masses of paper, enough balls of yarn to wrap around the globe and then some. There’s a host of discarded craft supplies scattered about, piled in the nooks and crannies where I live. You name it, I’ve probably tried it.
As a young girl, I watched my grandmother crochet. Later, in my adult years, this therapeutic skill came out of me like someone with multiple personalities. I didn’t even recognize at the time, that it was my grandmother who inspired me. I started with making chains – a long, worm-like single row of stitches. There really was no use for these fascinating spirals. But, until I purchased the instruction books and learned some basic terms, that’s all I could do.
Because I tried winging it.
With every new craft or hobby, I struggle through repeated attempts to master the task before me by osmosis, or something like that. All becasuse I want to do it myself, figure it out. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a man-thing, this aversion to using instructions. That’s me.
Sometimes there are, as Bob Ross said, “happy little accidents”. But more often than not, it’s a disaster. There are wasted supplies. And time. The hours upon hours that my beautiful messes have occupied the kitchen table, resulting in dinners served on the couch. Beautiful messes that give birth to creations that sit on a shelf and remind me of my failings each time I walk by.
Happy little accidents are welcome in artistic endeavors. In art, that’s how you discover new things, express yourself. In real life situations, not so much. In fact, when I “wing it” and make decisions based on my emotions in the moment, or without using the wisdom I’ve learned from God, it never turns out well. It’s not happy. It looks more like a plain ole accident. It’s chaotic and brings with it regrets. And pain. More pain.
When I…when we step outside of the protective umbrella of the Lord’s wisdom and discretion and try to fix things without His strength – it’s simply foolish. Trying to make life work on our own creates or makes worse an ugly mess.
Proverbs 3 makes it clear that if we will “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” by acknowledging our need for His wisdom and direction, He will “make your paths straight.” Taking all that I know of God’s character, this just sums it all up for me. I can trust Him to guide me, to be my strength when I am weak, to calm my anxious heart when I’m at a loss for what to do next. He repeatedly assures me that He has my best interest at heart and is the help I need, if I will just ask.
Winging it should not be an option. Staying close to the great I AM will, without a doubt, create much better results than you or I could ever imagine. He’s even given us, a very throrough and loving instruction book. The bible is not that confusing booklet with A’s and B’s that don’t match up and leave us frustrated and slamming tools to the ground.
God’s words to us demonstrate His love for us and how we can walk alongside Him in that love, using it to shape our lives and prepare us for sharing it with others who can’t wing it either.
And that… loving the unlovely, facing rejection, seeking and offering forgiveness, reconciliation and regeneration, interceding, healing…that I can’t do on my own.
We can’t do any of it on our own. That’s the starting point. It’s the beginning of a beautiful project. No happy little accidents. No winging it.
No happy little accidents. But a big, abundant, on-purpose life with no left-overs to discard or deem failures. Everything redeemed. All of it beautiful. All.