I have been blessed with some incredible women in my life. Women that I look up to and strive to emulate. One of those is my dear mother-in-law. She is so very wise. Every once in a while she passes on some words of encouragement or insight that give me a renewed perspective. Yesterday, she sent out an excerpt from a weekly broadcast entitled Music and the Spoken Word, which is a broadcast that features music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with insight and background about the pieces being performed. Today, I’m sharing that same excerpt with you. It reminded me that, while we are all a work in progress, out potential is so very great. I hope you love it as much as I did.
“A Work in Progress” The Spoken Word (September 15, 2013)
A masterpiece is a work that demonstrates extraordinary talent, artistic skill, or workmanship—a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement. Historically, a masterpiece represented an artist’s finest piece of work, evidence that he or she, after years of perfecting a craft, had achieved the rank of master. Yet when we see or read or listen to a masterpiece, we rarely think of the time, the effort—even the mistakes—that accompanied its creation.
It has been said that each of us is a masterpiece in progress. That may seem trite or clichéd, but it’s a reassuring thought during those disheartening times when we feel like anything but a masterpiece.
Everyone goes through those times, including people who seem perfect—which, of course, no one is. We all have strengths and weaknesses, positive and not-so-positive traits and habits. We all have occasions when we are and are not at our best. Even though our past may be marred by mistakes and disappointments, our future holds the promise of growth and improvement. Consider this wise counsel: “God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. . . . Many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.”1
No masterpiece is ever created all at once. So be thankful for the small successes, the simple joys, the good times, and even the hard times. Each one is another brushstroke, another stanza, another note toward the finished product. Each one gives us experience, teaches us, and strengthens us for what lies ahead. Life is a process of change and improvement: becoming a little kinder, a little stronger, a little better. So be patient with the process, and remember that each of us is a work in progress—a masterpiece in the making.