I love tea. It’s a habitual pleasure. I have a french press on my desk at work so that I can have five or six cups whenever I feel like it. I was craving something sweet one night a week ago, so I went into the kitchen and put on some tea water. I opened the pantry to pull out some sugar and then I saw it: black strap molasses. I thought, that might be good. It wasn’t.
I couldn’t believe I would think of something that was not that tasty (hubris, anyone?), so I googled it and people do indeed drink tea with molasses. But people also drink light beer. Just because people do it doesn’t make it right.
Like tea with molasses, some ideas sound good but end up being not so good. Then what do you do? I think we need to learn from it. When we try something new during a worship service and it doesn’t work out the way we intended, it shouldn’t be relegated to the rubbish heap of bad ideas—we should try to learn from it, to tinker with it, to try and find the goodness in it and refine it until it becomes a meaningful part of our creative lives.
I think I’ll continue to tinker with molasses in tea until I get it right. I hope I can take that mentality and apply it when that prayer doesn’t work quite right, or that advice was a bit flat or that drum fill in a song is a half beat too short.