Practice Makes PerFeKT?
Updated: Apr 18, 2018
While my dad, a high school football coach, was thrilled to finally see a son born into the family, my mother wanted to make sure her older children, the girls, were trained in music and art. Dad showed no discrimination and made sure his girls also played sports all the way through high school. However, mother swooped in early with ballet, jazz, tap dance and piano lessons. While the dance lessons for me only lasted for a couple of years, starting at age 5, piano lessons is where I would remain for the next 10 years.
My mother was great at making sure we kept the rules of the house:
No singing at the table. Obviously this was a problem, why else would there be a rule?
No dogs allowed in the house, even during a thunderstorm… because dogs can draw in lightening! Didn’t you know that? I had no idea either until my mother told me. Just think how many people are putting their lives at risk having their dogs in the house during a storm?
You must practice the piano 30 minutes a day, at least 4 days a week because practice makes perfect!
While I enjoyed playing the piano, I NEVER enjoyed practicing. But with mother’s consistent reminders, I practiced the piano. Getting ready for piano recitals requiring memorized pieces was difficult, but doable with enough practice. However, what I noticed was that no matter how much I practiced, when it came time for the recital, I always made some errors somewhere in the performance. Not once, did I play the song perfectly. It could have always been better.
Romans 12:13 says, “Share with God’s people in need. Practice Hospitality.” This sounds like something a mother would say as well. Our American culture version of hospitality, along with our constant desire to seek perfection, sets us up for feeling like failures every time. It’s impossible to keep my house looking like a home décor magazine cover, nor will my wallet allow it. So what is the apostle Paul trying to convey with this verse?
First, remember the Greek word for hospitality here is PhiloXenia. Philos means brotherly love, and Xenia means stranger. What he’s saying here is practice showing brotherly love towards strangers. It is a practice, and as we continue the journey of hospitality in our lives, we will see that through the scripture, it is also a commandment. But that’s for another lesson, stay tuned.
Secondly, why is it called a practice? Because it involves people, lots of different kinds of people. Different cultures, different ages, different backgrounds, different colors, different faiths, and on and on. No two people are alike, which is what makes us all beautiful. When you take your legal and financial matters to an attorney, he or she is practicing law. When you make an appointment with a doctor concerning your health, he or she is practicing medicine. When people are involved, different outcomes will happen, and no two experiences will be exactly alike.
So, through my years of practicing hospitality, and playing the piano, I have finally changed my mother’s rule. Practice does NOT make perfect. Practice…makes you prepared! So, keep practicing. Invite people into your home. The more you practice, the more prepared you will be. The result is you will have shared with God’s people in need – in need of friendship, in need of belonging, in need of food, rest, restoration, and a relationship with Christ.
I’d love to hang out with you longer and share more on this, but I just heard thunder and I’ve got to go let my dog in. :) Keep practicing, friends.
Hospitality In Action Tip #5:
“Share with God’s people in need. Practice Hospitality.” Remember, hospitality is a practice, not perfection.