There is a certain exhilaration that comes from something new: a new car, a new interest or hobby, a new job, a new relationship. Learning comes fast during the novice stage. Life is exciting as you acquire new skills and experiences. You are in the honeymoon stage, the beginner’s high, and the future overflows with possibilities and potentials.
But, as things progress in each new-found endeavor, advancement comes more slowly and requires more work. It’s not too hard to learn how to paint a house, but quite a bit more difficult to paint a portrait, and most challenging of all to paint a masterpiece. It may take an hour to develop enough skill to make one out of ten free throws but a few hundred hours to make ten out of ten. It is easy to like and get along with your future spouse when you are dating and “madly in love” with each other. But it’s not so easy when you’ve been married for a few years and are encountering more of each other’s annoying habits and differences of opinion.
You can begin something new on a whim, but to truly develop your skills and knowledge takes commitment, hard work, and a high tolerance for frustration. It takes maturity and perseverance to move beyond the novice stage to that of apprentice, journeyman, and, eventually, professional or expert. Some people don’t have this level of patience, devotion, or integrity, and many don’t care to develop it. Instead, they ride the wave of perpetual beginnings and newness. They live a life of false commitments and irresponsibility towards themselves, others, and God. Their wave will eventually crash. Be careful it doesn’t crash on you.