Thursday, March 1, 2012

When Something is Worth Doing

Two weeks ago, the ladies at my church had a retreat.  The speaker is a woman who's been a missionary to Japan for many years.  She shared many interesting things about Japanese culture.  I've thought about many of the points she made often since then, but one particularly came to my mind yesterday.

She explained to us that the Japanese people won't do something unless they are an expert at it.

I think we too often fall into this thinking as well.  If what we do isn't as good as what someone else does, then 1) we question whether it is worth doing
2) we tell ourselves that we just aren't very good at it
3) we don't even try if we don't think we can be successful at it

I found myself thinking these thoughts as I searched through my pictures yesterday.  I wanted to find some to frame and hang on the walls in our house.  But, pictures that once pleased me didn't yesterday.  I have several friends who take very good pictures.  My pictures pale in comparison.  And then I started thinking about what the missionary shared.  

I take pictures with my camera because I enjoy it, not because it's a job.  I also take pictures because I enjoy it, not because someone's going to tell me "Good job!"  

As a homeschooling mom, I want my kids to enjoy learning.  There are a lot of days when we're checking off the boxes.  But ultimately, I want them to love reading and writing.  Homeschooling has challenged me to think about what the goals of my children's education are.  My mother in law commented to me about this the other day.  She assumed that I had a vision for what I want my kids to learn that guides what I teach them and how we raise them.  I gave her a very incoherent answer that really made no sense at the time.  Later that evening I reflected on my answer.  What do I want for my kids?  I want them to love others well--to reflect God's love to others.  I want them to enjoy learning.  I want them to seek knowledge and to do things with it.  Do I expect them to be the best?  Actually, not.  I just want them to do their best and to glorify God in what they do.  I grew up getting accolades in school and while they're nice, they aren't my end goal for my kids.  I do think they are a blessing and encouragement though when they receive them, though.  But, the accolades aren't the goal.  

That's why I blog.  I enjoy writing and expressing my thoughts.  Not many people read this blog.  I'm not what you'd call a "successful" blogger.  But, do I need to be an "expert" to justify my blogging efforts?  If I look to God and His character and what I know the Bible to say, then I'd say no.  

These are the scriptures that came to my mind.  They may seem random or disconnected, but I think they're all related.

I Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I Samuel 16:7 (said to Samuel about David)
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Colossians 3:23-24
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

A few weeks ago, our pastor said in his sermon that the easiest way to figure out how we're doing is to compare ourselves to others.  It isn't right and it isn't what determines our worth, but it's the easiest way--so we do it all the time.  I have to constantly guard against this in my own heart and in how I think of my children.  

So, I think I'm going to pick up my camera this afternoon and go for a walk.  Who knows what I'll find!


Kim said...

First, you take very lovely pictures. Especially of your kids. And second, I like to have things in my house that make me happy and bring me joy. That's why most of our framed photos are snapshots of the kids and other family. So keep snapping those pictures and use them as reminders of fun times.

Rachel Clarke said...

I am a former pro photographer, and so I relate with this. We spend way too much time comparing ourselves others. Doing things for the glory of God, and not self gives us such freedom!

Thanks for posting!