When I was in kindergarten, I took dance class, with emphasis on ballet and tap. At least once a week, I attended these classes, held in Mrs. Taylor’s basement. My strongest memories were the gigantic black bow pinning the back of her bun hairstyle and the 45 records we were given to practice our routines. I especially remember “Alley Cat” and “Practice, Practice, Practice.” I spent hours in my tap shoes, striving for improvement on a square piece of plywood. After a while, I grew to dislike that song immensely. “Practice,” after all, was tedious, boring and frustrating.
Little did I know, however, so often, would life be as well.
According to the famous myth, the character of Sisyphus was condemned to an eternity of hard labor. For a crime against the gods, his assignment was to roll a great boulder to the top of a hill. Each time he completed this task, requiring tremendous effort, reaching the summit, the boulder rolled back downhill again.
Tedious, boring and frustrating…
I recently came across this famous Margaret Thatcher quote:
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
Also known as “Practice, Practice, Practice,” perhaps?
Yeah, but it doesn’t always come with snazzy tap shoes, does it?
Yet, in both life and recovery matters, practice is that principle which is all over the place.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
And sometimes, that means failure- more great news.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Still, God doesn’t abandon us, even if/when our feelings tell us otherwise.
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand, and whenever turn to the left.'” Isaiah 30:21
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
“Practice, Practice, Practice.” No one gets there automatically and perfectly. It’s a process. And God will work, in all of it, often in spite of our missed dance steps…
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
What’s the common denominator behind every individual life and recovery issue? God.
“…Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
Just like Mrs. Thatcher said.