Genesis Day 8: Practice makes perfect?
When was the last time you learned a new skill? Maybe a new language, a musical instrument, or a hobby, like painting or golf? You have to start at the beginning.
We had to sing our ABCs as kids. We memorized states and capitals. And then there was keyboarding: A–S–D–F–J–K–L–SEMI! Not to mention repeating musical scales on the piano. Out on the ball field, we’d practice the same play over and over and over until we could do it in our sleep.
My coaches and teachers always said, “Practice makes perfect!” Now… I’m not sure I ever got all the way to perfect – but I got their drift. Maybe “Practice makes good” is a little more accurate… but good isn’t the best goal, and it just doesn’t have the same ring, does it? I digress.
If you have ever had a really good sports coach, or music instructor, you know what I am talking about. Maybe you are even wincing a little bit.
Getting better at something, creating new habits and routines, building our “gut responses” and “instincts” – all that takes time and repetition, doesn’t it?
We have to “drill” the basics in order to get somewhere, and to know how to respond when we’re met with a challenge. And sometimes you have to revisit the basics to make sure you’re still on track.
Before we continue in Genesis, let me gently be that “pain in the neck coach.” There are fundamental truths in Genesis 1 and 2 that we must deeply learn in order to navigate life.
When I say “navigate life,” what I mean is that, when life’s hard moments crash into your world, you will react instinctively according to some set of “fundamentals.” I am suggesting Genesis 1 and 2 hold Biblical truths, Biblical fundamentals, that, when they become instincts, serve us well—help us flourish amid difficulty.
If my assertion is correct, then what are these fundamental truths?
If I simply list the first seven blogs as “bullet points” we get:
God IS: God made and sustains everything. He is the starting point.
God works; therefore, humans were created to work. Our work – all kinds of work – gives glory to God.
Our true purpose is to do His will on earth. Apart from Him, we have no true purpose.
We were created for relationship with Him. We flourish when our relationship with God is right.
We were created to care for creation. We flourish when our relationship with His creation is right.
We were created for relationship with each other. We flourish when our relationship with other human beings is right.
Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the business – and busy-ness – of life, that we forget the basics: who God is, and who we are.
Our gut responses, instead of being built upon those foundational truths, have often been built on other… how shall I say… less-than-ideal foundations. Maybe it’s patterns we’ve learned in our families, or at school, or even in unhealthy churches. And not to mention brokenness of our own making. Unhealthy habits and responses are hard to break. It’s especially important to keep this in mind before we get into the rest of Genesis – our “broken” family story!
Now, I’m not saying that if we just keep reading Genesis 1 and 2 over and over, and practicing these basics, that things will be perfect. No, that doesn’t come until the end. But I do believe in what it says in John’s gospel, chapter 10 verse 10… that Jesus has come to give us life and life more abundantly… you might say the possibility of a flourishing life – here and now.