American inventor Thomas Edison is credited with this famous quote, “Genius is 11% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.
Did you spot the deliberate mistake? Despite what you hear in post-match interviews with professional sportsmen there’s no such thing as 110%. A genuine deliberate mistake is a test – in this case it was a test of your observation skills and/or your maths, in other cases it’s about proving or disproving what’s believed to be a known limit.
For example, someone had to confirm the underwater watch was in fact water resistant to 50 metres by diving down to 51 metres. Christopher Columbus had to travel in one direction long enough to see if the world was, in fact, round not flat. Someone had to eat an undercooked Pot Noodle to discover the optimal cooking process is 2 minutes, stir, 2 minutes. We all test the heat of a plate when the waitress says “that plate is hot”.
When we fear mistakes we stick well within our limits, take no risks and never push our boundaries. But am I the only one who’s learnt more from my mistakes than my successes? My favourite mistakes are the ones at the end attempting something new, exploring what’s possible with the gifts and opportunities God has given me.
Truth is I am somewhere between the person I used to be and the person I wish to be. In my heart I know God is moving me to change, it’s Him that spurs me on to not settle with average. Some necessary changes in our lives are crystal clear for us to see, others are a fruit of “our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” (2 Cor. 3:18, MSG) Growing in our relationship with God has this transforming effect that starts in our heart and continues in our actions.
In James’ words, like the angry PE teacher typical of his style: ‘If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.’ (James 4:14, NIV) So how about at SYC this year we align ourselves so God can speak clearly to us – He’ll challenge you to step out and do something new – so dust yourself off, disprove the limits you’ve assumed and make some deliberate mistakes.