I tried out something new by posting a short story of mine online. Didn’t exactly go the way I had hoped it would.

First, I tried one site, but they require all readers to sign in either by creating an account or by granting their site permissions on Facebook. Not particularly cool.

A friend suggested I post the story here on the blog, but reading a story in the narrow column where text appears didn’t seem like the answer either.

Finally, I figured out how to post the story on my own website. If you want to read the story, you can do so here. (It’s a fun short story that mixes a summer storm with a hulking mutt who plays matchmaker for his reluctant owner.)

Anyway, as I posted links on Facebook and emailed a couple of friends to try to get the word out about the story, I ended up feeling embarrassed. The process wasn’t exactly smooth or surprise-free, and it got me thinking that when we’re in the midst of trying something new, we have to go easy on ourselves.

And we have to extend the same grace to others, too, because sometimes, even when we think we know what we’re doing, things won’t quite turn out.

Let’s try to love and encourage each other through new experiences. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, let’s put the emphasis on what went right and on all the good information we learned.

As Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV)

And then, armed with the lessons we learned, let’s move ahead! Because, often, the only way to get better at something–and sometimes the only way to learn about something–is to give it a try.

What new territory have you been trying to figure out lately?