(Originally posted on our former blog site on 3/31/2016)
I would like to open this blog up by first saying that I am the queen of two left feet, invisible obstacles, and hand-eye UN-coordination. And if there were ever a perfect time to start having panic attacks, high school PE was it for me.
I was not the girl who could play every single sport and had to weigh out each year which she would have time in her busy schedule to devote herself to. I was not even the girl who could play one sport. I was the girl who woke up before the sun to go to marching band practice- and chose an instrument I didn’t even have to march with. I was that girl. So PE… yea… no… just no.
My sophomore year of high school I had the pinnacle of physical education teachers. It was his life. HIS LIFE. And I have never been more embarrassed in all of mine.
To give you a picture of what that class looked like for me, let me start by saying he never called me by my first name but rather referred to me as “Benbow” for the entirety of the year. Yes, my maiden name was Benbow (not to be mistaken with Bimbo) and you can only imagine the utter joy I felt as I heard it screamed each day. Especially since I was SO GOOD at everything and “Benbow” was immediately followed up with “constructive criticisms” that felt more like public flogging than anything. It was horrible and every day I would have to use any bit of strength I had left to fight back tears as my self-esteem fell lower and lower.
High school PE.
I just knew it would be the death of me.
Watching my son start teeball brings back all too many memories of when I would strike out inning after inning in our softball unit. Not just for the first day, but for every day. Every day that was until the last one. On the last day I had finally made contact with the ball… twice. It shocked more than just me. My teacher, who was so used to telling me how I was doing it wrong, was now walking over to me with a ball and pen. I’m not sure if he was mocking me as he had me sign my name, but when he handed it to me to take home I stood a little taller. I finally did it. I finally hit the ball. I finally knew what it was like to succeed after failing time and time again. And even if it was a joke, the joke was on him as I walked off of the campus that day with a piece of school property in my backpack.
I don’t know about you but I am tired of hearing, “practice makes perfect”. Because it doesn’t. Perfection is something I killed myself trying to reach for years and after all of this time, a few victories and a lot of defeats later, I am waving the white flag and saying “I give up”.
I give up on having this unrealistic expectation that if I do it “enough”, or work hard “enough” then I will be something that no one on this earth besides Jesus has ever been… perfect. The only thing that practice does is make you better than you were yesterday.
Maybe you missed that so instead of you going back to read it I will just write it again.
The only thing that practice does is make you better than you were yesterday.
And that my friends is what high school PE taught me about life. That I will fail time and time again, but as long as I am even one iota better than I was yesterday then at least I am traveling in the right direction.
Psalm 106:3 says “how blessed are those who keep justice, who practice righteousness at all times!” I want you to realize something that could be of the most significance to you and how you decide to live your life; Righteousness is something we practice, it is not something we achieve.
We are humans and as such no matter how good we are, we are never worthy enough to be considered righteous.
That is why Jesus had to come. Not because we are righteous, but because we are sinful.
Righteousness is a continual act of work. It is a daily choice. It is not a destination. But in choosing it day after day, moment after moment, we will be better than we have ever been before. Not perfect, but better.
I am not a professional ball player. I am not even a veteran high school ball player. And to be completely frank I am not and never could be a coach for a bunch of five year old ball players. But I did it. I hit the ball. Twice.
And keep this in mind if you are ever feeling like a complete and utter failure… no matter how often even professionals, who are paid millions to hit balls, practice; they still fail more than they succeed. So try again. You can do it.
Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again.