Last night I went to Mass. I like to make sure God remembers who I am and what I look like. Unfortunately I end up working a lot of Sundays and miss services at my church. Although I am not Catholic, I find comfort in the ritual and the realization that I do not have to expend effort or thought in preparation of ‘proper’ prayers that say just what I want to say. The wisdom and thoughts and feelings of many folks through the centuries are there for me to find in the prayer book.
However, singing is not one of the talents of this particular church. I’ve resisted the urge to plug my ears while one of the cantors flatted every end note; parts of the music ‘re-written’ to suit one of the vocalists without similar adaptation by the remaining choir; words were mispronounced—not in the traditional song-singing manner, the Gospel re-written from the printed version; and some truly un-sing-able tunes chosen by someone to fit the readings but not the extremely limited talents of this particular congregation.
I admit to being somewhat of a snob when it comes to music. And I hate being the only one singing in the congregation.
But as I listened to all of those folks contributing their best effort, I realized that they were giving what they had. They did not wait until their gift was perfect. They made it the best that they could.
In the past year or so, I’ve hesitated to promote my work much. I didn’t think it good enough or perfect enough. But perhaps I need to simply offer my best work and not worry about it being perfect.