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Practice Makes Perfect

A daily devotion about the importance of never giving up

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Then He said to another, “Follow me.”—Luke 9:59 (NKJV)

For years my wife Kathy and I had talked about taking dance lessons. When I pastored in southeastern Pennsylvania, we had attended many wedding receptions where we had watched the dancing, wishing we knew how. And Kathy remembered standing on her father’s shoes as a little girl, feeling the thrill of gliding on the dance floor. So as a surprise, I arranged for us to take a lesson.

We arrived early and watched the instructors and their clients finishing the class before us. It looked simple enough—slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Years of music lessons and marching band had helped me with counting, coordination and rhythm. I should be able to do this, I thought.

By the end of our first lesson, we understood the elementary steps of the fox-trot, the swing and the rumba. We left the studio, smiling, and with a commitment for 10 more lessons.

Now you need to know something about the world of ballroom dancing: A gentleman must lead with a strong right hand. I am strongly left-handed. Once we had learned more than one step, Kathy couldn’t know which step to dance unless I led. By the end of our 10 lessons, I felt ready for Remedial Dance 101.

“This is no fun. I can’t do this,” I said.

“Ted, you have to lead. And you have to practice until it becomes part of your subconscious. Then dancing becomes satisfying. Don’t give up,” encouraged our instructor.

How many times had I said similar words to those who have asked me about prayer? “Pray. Pray until it becomes part of your subconscious. Don’t give up.”

Well, I took my own advice: I’m not giving up. I may still be awkward, but I’m beginning to enjoy myself. In dancing, as in prayer, practice makes perfect.

Father, as You lead, I will follow.

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