In theatre this "Ugly Stage" happens a week or two before the performance. You realize that even though you have spent hours and weeks singing and dancing and memorizing lines ... somehow all you have are little pieces of a jumbled mess and you keep mixing them up and tripping over yourself and you just know that it will be the biggest flop and the most embarrasing moment of your life if you actually try to perform this ugly mess.
Then, a magical thing happens.
If you don't give up, then the craft project begins to take shape and the theatrical performance suddenly makes sense. It happens so quickly that it is hard to believe that the "Ugly Stage" even existed. But it did.
And so it is with life. There is a whole lot of working and practicing and trying to live the way we're supposed to and a whole lot of struggling and paying our dues. We look around one day and see that what we have gotten for all of our efforts is just a whole lot of "Ugly". But we can't give up, because after the "Ugly Stage" comes the finished product that is so much better than we can ever imagine when we are staring so intently at the "Ugly".
The part that makes life even better than a craft project or theatre is that our Savior is the Master Craftsman who takes our "Ugly" and shapes it into the Divine.
He is the Director who guides and directs our play into a performance worthy of Eternal audiences.
We must endure the "Ugly Stage" and have faith that through our Savior, Jesus Christ, the finished Eternal product of our lives will be so much better than we ever could have imagined.
...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...