I grew up watching The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. In fact, I can remember how his voice had the capacity to calm you as happy little autumn trees received a healthy dabbing of yellow ochre.
Bob was the first creative to teach me that in a world of happy little trees there can be no accidents because there’s always room for another—well, you know—tree.
So I guess it’s because of Bob that I’m so dedicated to the fine art of planting... and by planting I mean storing that extra bit of leafy greens from lunch in between my teeth. It’s the only fail-safe place I can rely on for a consistent source of daily watering.
There was a time I was very self-conscious about my face plants, especially when I had to stand in front of an audience. But they didn’t bring joy into a moment until I got really comfortable with letting them shine.
Today, I find my face plants are generally a great icebreaker, especially if, like me, you like to smile really wide.
I’ve met some of my life-long friends proceeding the comment “What’s that in your teeth?”
“Spinach. I’m storing for the winter when produce prices go up.”
Then the strangest thing seems to happen—people realize I am HUMAN. And bonus: they realize it’s okay to be equally human.
Bob transformed my journey with his happy little accidents philosophy: “You’ll look at what you’re doing, and you’ll see things, and they’ll just sort of happen. And you learn to take advantage of whatever happens and use it to make it your painting special. You can do that.” And that’s what I love about face planting. The ultimate pull up to the glory of God in all things is our willingness to put shame and pride aside.
So here are just a few things that I have learned about perfecting the art of face planting
1. Do not let the buzzing insects of shame or ridicule infest your face plants. Fear of failure or embarrassment or self-shame has the capacity eat up your growth potential.
2. Learn what success, not perfection, looks like through God’s eyes and use that as your pocket compost. Start with Proverbs 16:3 to tap into essential nutrients for your day: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (NIV).
3. Water your day by giving grace to other face planters like yourself, and ask God to help you see your potential, greenery and all, through His eyes.
In fact, I’ve even established my face plant mission: At least if I fall on my face, I’ll give someone else something to laugh about... and that right there is ministry. Not to mention a bit of healthy stress-reducing cardio.