I love woodworking but I am not an expert. As a matter of fact I cannot saw a straight line and I seldom measure the same way twice. Recently while working in my shop, I was building a chest and trying to do it perfectly. However, no matter how hard I tried I could not cut the boards correctly. They were either to short, to long, crooked or the angles were wrong. I was getting frustrated.
Then I stopped talking to the wood, and had a stern conversation with myself. I told myself, “ You are doing this because you enjoy it. If you are not enjoying why are you doing it?” With that thought in mind, I decided to just relax and not try so hard.
From then on everything seemed to go smoother. Yes, I still make mistakes. Cuts are often crooked and angles are sometimes wrong. Really my work is full of imperfections. But I no longer stress about it. I choose to let the imperfections be part of the character and beauty of the work. No longer do I concern myself with what others might say. I simply do what I do for the joy of doing it.
Recently my daily Bible reading had me in Numbers chapter 28. As I read, I thought about how frustrated the people must have been as they tried to please God. They had laws to keep that they could never keep. So they had to make many sacrifices to atone for the laws they constantly broke. They were imperfect people trying to be perfect. They lived their lives trying to please God. But they never could no matter how hard they tried.
For many people worshiping God is frustrating and no fun. If this is you, then stop trying so hard. Relax, rest in God. Love Him with all your heart, soul, might and mind. I thank God there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ. The Spirit of life is in Jesus and He has set us free from the laws we cannot keep. In the past we tried to please God, but we are imperfect and cannot. So let us stop trying to please God and simply love Him with the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Then we will no longer be frustrated.
Douglas & Deborah Huff