Originally posted June 2013

Ten small parts. Two hours. That's how long I spent last night putting this signal in place. Am I satisfied? Probably. Could it be better? Definitely.

I've been working on this layout for about 6 weeks now, and it's taking shape nicely. I've made significant progress with the big picture and am starting to work on the small details, such as this light-only signal (it won't actually stop trains, it is only there for decoration/effect). So I spent 2 hours on it last night getting it as right as I possibly could. With all things Lego, I'm something of a perfectionist, getting it to look as "right" as possible.

But that perfectionism comes at a price; sometimes it means rebuilding something several times, sometimes it means ordering parts from Lego re-sellers worldwide. is a wonderful resource if you haven't yet found it. Building Lego is largely a solitary thing, I can immerse myself in it for hours, so perfectionism only impacts on me. But elsewhere?

"The world" is constantly telling us to improve; to upgrade our phone, get better exam results, Continuing Professional Development, wear this, look like that etc etc. I'm not against improvement, but we must be aware of the underlying message that can be sent out - "You're not good enough as you are without the perfect______"; insert grades/phone/trainers/qualification as you see fit.

I don't have a degree.

I did my Leaving Cert in Ireland twice before I left school.

I bought my first iPod after I turned 40.

I get it wrong, I sin, regularly. I'm not cool. I'm not perfect. And never will be.

But I don't stop striving towards perfection. As a person, as a Lego builder, as a Christian, I always want to do better, but we must never lose sight of the fact that we are who we are, not what we achieve. I believe I'm made in the image of God, and that's enough for me. Knowing God, through Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, spurs me on to give more, serve more, love more, play more, work more, build more, give Him my best. My best is what he demands of me, because I can achieve my best. I cannot achieve perfection. God does not set us up to fail.

The signal I built last night is finally the best I could achieve. I would say there's room for improvement, but with the parts available to me last night, I'm not sure what that could be. I'll keep on learning, trying new things, to do better, but I learned long ago not to get hung up on perfection and simply give my best.