In knitting there are a lot of technical knitting terms, but there is also universally recognized jargon. One such term that falls under jargon is UFO, which stands for Un-Finished Object. A UFO is when you start something and later discard it for any number of reasons, including it was too hard, confusing or boring. It then ends up under the bed, in the back of the closet or in the bottom of one of multiple knitting bags. If someone were to pick it up, it would most likely be unrecognizable to anyone else and possibly yourself. In contrast, a WIP (Work In Progress) is a project that you are actively working on or at least contemplating. You know what it is and have a good idea where you are even if you have laid it aside for the moment.
In a previous blog I wrote about having a few UFOs lying around. They had been lying around long enough to cease being a WIP. As a task-oriented person, UFOs bother me. Most of my goals for the New Year include finishing some things I started. For instance, a shelf of books that I’ve been meaning to read and some knitting UFOs that I found when I cleaned up the house for the holidays. I have read 6 of the books and finished 3 of the UFOs. Finishing those things makes me feel lighter and productive. It makes me want to finish other things.
One of the principles of physics is that an object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon. I had become an object at rest, but the word rest is misleading. I was sitting still, but I was not resting. The goals I set for the New Year and the cleaning fit I get when it is time to put away the Christmas decorations set me in motion. The more I finish, the more I want to finish. Then, I can move on to new things.
So, do yourself a favor. Look around for a UFO and turn it into a finished project. It will make you feel better. If you totally are not interested in the UFO anymore, get rid of it. Frog the project (undo the stitches and roll the yarn into a ball) and do something else with it, or just give it to someone else. Lighten your self-imposed load and free yourself to do something else, just don’t become an object at rest or worse yet…a UFO.
Do you ever think about doing something new but never go through with it? I do. I’ll look at a new knitting project and get started, but when I hit something unfamiliar, I often stop and put the project aside. I currently have 3 knitting projects that are almost done, but I keep hesitating because the next step is either new territory or unsure ground. I’m afraid I won’t do it right or that it won’t look perfect. I want it perfect the first time. I don’t want to risk making a mistake, which is silly because the only way to learn is by making mistakes, and in the end nothing is ever “perfect” as the world understands the word.
People have a warped understanding of what the word perfect means. The world considers perfect to mean without flaws, like a super model gracing the cover of a magazine. However, that super model is not perfect. Most covers have been photo shopped or airbrushed to make it look “perfect.” That is not what Paul means when he says,
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).
In this scripture, the first mistake people make is assuming Paul means the worldly definition of perfect. The word perfect actually is defined as complete or mature, not without fault. As long as we live in earthly bodies we will never be perfect in that sense because we live in a fallen world; however, we can be complete. The second part to notice is it says perfect “in Christ Jesus.” We are only complete when we are in Christ Jesus because He is what makes us complete. It is His work in us that completes or perfects us and not anything we do ourselves. So, stop trying to be perfect in the world’s eyes and focus on Christ. Once you accept Christ, perfection is a done deal. All you have to do is let him do His work in you.
With that in mind, I have 3 knitting projects I am moving forward on so that they will be complete. Once they are done, they will then be perfect even if they aren’t perfect. Don’t let fear of failure or mistakes keep you from moving forward and stepping out into the unknown. You may not be flawless, no one ever is, but you can be complete and enjoy the freedom to explore the new avenues that God will open up once you let go of the fear of failure and allow yourself to make mistakes. It isn’t the end of the world; it’s just the beginning of something new.