Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Okay, it happened again. I wrote a composition from a stroke of inspiration, rejoiced over my own ingenuity, printed it out, showed it to my mother (my sole occasionally-available critic), and got my work a harsh but honest evaluation. Her final verdict: it sucks.

I wasn't offended, since I realized that my mom had a point in every criticism she laid. My wordings were archaic, my statements were ambiguous, and the whole set of lyrics just didn't have much content, period. I wasn't offended, just a bit disappointed. Why couldn't I write good lyrics in an instant?

My mom then reminded me about the most basic principle of all composition: polish, polish, polish, don't rely on the first moment of inspiration. It's the same way with any works. I shouldn't be so hasty to write new things if my degree of experience and understanding can't support new ideas. Patience is the key.

I have to admit I don't like the patience part. It doesn't feel nice to wait for rich content before writing a new work, and it definitely isn't sweet to pour myself over a draft, patiently polishing. My mom says I should wait for life to give me more content. I am, after all, only 19.

Well, it's easier said than done. Impatience is an easy pitfall in every area of life. I can't wait to drive a car, I can't wait to jump into ministry, I can't wait to write a book, I can't wait for so many things. I feel that there are so many ideas of what I want to do with my life, and I just can't wait for them to happen.

In my wiser moments, I know that God still has His polishing to do. It's not the right time for me to carry out all those ideas, nor write down all those compositions, because I am not yet ready, though I might think myself to be. C. S. Lewis once compared God's love for His children to an artist's perseverence towards his work. If I want God to complete a good composition with me, I better be ready for the polishing.

I may have more wisdom in terms of life, love, ministry, family, and the like in comparison to many of my contemporaries, but it's just the rough draft. I mustn't be so impatient to declare myself a presentable composition yet. God still has His polishing to do. This time of my life isn't for me to just be a waiting composition thrown aside until the time of use. Instead, it's a time for polishing...patient, painful polishing. The varnish may sting for now, but it's for my own good. I must wait, patiently wait. He's polishing me yet.

And I can't wait to see what the finished product will be. No, wait...I mean, yes, wait...I mustn't "can't wait." I must wait. He's polishing, polishing, polishing...

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