I have such fun playing with little ones. At church yesterday I was watching a little guy who is just shy of his first birthday play with a little girl who is in first grade. They were playing with some of the rhythm instruments in the “big room” of our children’s ministry. We have a wide assortment of tambourines, maracas, rhythm sticks, and such. One by one the young girl would pick up an instrument and shake it, making lots of noise. The little guy reached for the instrument she was shaking. He’d take it in hand and attempt to make the same noise. Since he doesn’t quite yet have the same muscle coordination and strength, he didn’t get the same results. Dropping the instrument in his hand, he’d look up at whatever the young girl was now playing and reach for that one.
It struck me that this was a perfect example of how many of us behave. We get frustrated that someone else is getting better results. I’ve got the same stuff; why is she making better noises? Maybe you don’t have the right skills yet. Maybe you need to grow a little more before I can shake that maraca or make that tambourine jingle. Maybe you need to work a little longer with what you’ve got in order to get the rhythm down.
We all develop at our own pace. We need to take those baby steps toward our goals. We need to learn. We need to try. We need to stretch. Eventually we’ll get there. The thing to remember is that if all we ever do is get mad because someone else is getting better results we’ll never learn to play our own instrument.