“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”
Any one who’s seen my shambling, waterfowl-out-of-water walk knows I’m not a perfectionist. Still, I’ve been thinking lately that I’ve let fear of doing badly keep me from doing things at all, and reading Chesterton’s observation brought these thoughts to a head. I can see that on my mission–where I was a blushing, commitment-shy missionary–; in my hometeaching, especially to inactives; in my work; and in my private attempts at writing, I’ve been holding back. Sometimes I tried to persuade myself that my fears were unrealistic, and this helped for a time, until I found out they weren’t. Now I’m thinking that my fears are misplaced even though they’re accurate.
I’m betting I’m not the only one. I know people who’ve also held back from callings, from church duties, from having children and from marriage, from fear of doing badly. Perhaps to some extent they were right to do so.
But only to some extent. This is a lay church, an amateur church,and always has been, as anyone knows who studies our attempts at banking in Kirtland, at building Zion in Missouri and Nauvoo, at crossing the plains in the handcarts, and so on. It is by grace we are saved after all we can do.