Improv is Unavoidable

Sometimes, I think too much.

I over-analyze. I complicate things that are (or should be) simple.

I may know how to get from point A to point B, but it’s a rare feat for me to know the easiest route the first time. It may take some serious meandering before I get there. At the end of the road, hearing someone say, “Well, why didn’t you just go this way instead?”

Oh. I guess I could have, couldn’t I? How on earth did I miss that one?

Honestly, I’d rather someone just tell me where to turn. Spell it out. Give me landmarks and everything, before I even start out.

Too bad that’s rarely possible. Even when it is, the directions are usually not quite in line with what I need, and I have to figure most of it out anyway.

Winging it. Flying by the seat of my pants. Improvising. Just figuring it out. Going for it. Making it up as I go.


I’d really rather not. After all, I’ll probably make far more mistakes if I just start, and figure it out as I go. Besides – it might take me hours and HOURS to make any headway! (Right, Mom?)

(Kind of ironic that someone like me would have kids, isn’t it?)

Anyway. Yeah, yeah, I know. We learn from our mistakes and failures, not from our successes.

The pain and learning and growing that comes from mistakes and failures is, indeed highly valuable. I cannot argue such an indisputable fact. It’s also just bloody inconvenient. I’d rather do without the inconvenience and setbacks that mistakes tend to throw all over the place. They often hurt.

A lot.

I’d rather just be mature and complete, lacking nothing, right now.

I’d rather be able to read a lesson, internalize it, and execute it – all without having to actually think too much about it.

For example. In my Bible, it says to “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” That’s pretty clear. I can do that. Totally reasonable request.

Again, I say, “Ha!”

No sooner do I read these words, than that one person opens their mouth and says something stupid and hurtful.


Instead of jumping straight to love, I seem to have to plow my way through hurt feelings, defensiveness, anger, and bitterness first. Then, of course, I have to choose forgiveness, ask for some myself, and start over. And over. And over. And over. Ad infinitum.

How utterly frustrating!

It’s encouraging to know that I’m not the first person in history to struggle with this. Neither is this an issue reserved for us normal, everyday Christians. The Apostles themselves struggled too. Deeply.

Apparently, improv is unavoidable – no matter who you are. We all have to wing it sometimes.

It makes me thankful that eventually, the final victory will be mine. I am just at the point where I wouldn’t mind if it showed up tomorrow morning, upon my waking.

That’s all I’m trying to say.

Grace & Peace,


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