Are Baby Steps Huge?
Have you ever been excited about an accomplishment just for someone whom you told about your efforts to dismiss it as nothing? How did you feel? Have you put off starting a business, a job or a project; going to college or starting a ministry because of the thought that it is insignificant? Why? Could it be that no one ever affirmed your accomplishments; no matter how large or how small they were? Perhaps you grew up in an environment where little was not good enough. But that’s okay; because your parents or guardians aspired for more. Yet, perhaps they did not understand how to encourage your beginner’s effort and nudge you to keep going to higher heights at the same time.
Or maybe you grew up in an environment where no one aspired for more. No one wanted a college degree. No one wanted a career. No one wanted to own in a better environment. No one had dreams. No one inspired to take steps; even baby steps. …In these instances, perhaps you starved for more, and you stepped out to carry out your dreams. Perhaps you experienced a completely negative response to what you considered as an accomplishment. ….I remember; about twenty-two years ago; my children and I moved into a small house. I invited my dad to my home in hopes that he would be happy for me. When he walked into the door, he looked around, grunted and murmured under his breath, “Some people just want to live above their means.” He walked out and went to the car. Those words crushed me. The little girl in me wanted my daddy to say what the modern-day parents say to their children, “Good job!” I wanted him to affirm my efforts of working at a good job, going back to college and providing my children with a nice home. But now that I think about it, my dad was content with the home that he owned on Webb and Linwood with the pipes dripping and the holes in the walls. At no fault of his own, it was all he knew. He couldn’t appreciate my baby steps. But it didn’t stop me from dreaming.
But why do we avoid baby steps?
Could it be that adults view infant stages as trivial? Could it be that we look at what others are doing in their lives and we only see the finished product? We don’t always get the opportunity to hear or read about the process that others had to go through to get to their now. So we see baby steps as opponents to results. …When we visit beautiful homes, we see the exquisiteness. We don’t see the road the owner travelled to buy their blessing. When we go to the doctor, we see the person in the white lab jacket and stethoscope. We don’t see the countless hours of study, the excruciating exams, the papers, the research, or the internship the person endured to become a doctor. When we listen to a university professor, we see expertise in a particular area of study. We don’t see the all night study time, the sacrifice of fellowship time, the family outings missed or the stressful preparation for finals to get the degree. Do we avoid the baby steps because we focus on the journey’s length and don’t envision the completion?
Think of a diamond. What gives a diamond its brilliance? Its brilliance is not always readily exposed. I read that diamonds are made from minerals composed of carbon. They are the hardest naturally occurring substance known. Due to their hardness, brilliance and sparkle, they are the most popular of gemstone. They are diverse in color; varying from colorless to black; transparent; translucent or opaque. A diamond’s brilliance derives from its cut. Properly cut diamonds will return a greater amount of light to the eye of the observer than will a gem of lesser refractive power. High dispersion gives diamonds their fire. What baby steps give you your fire?
Are baby steps actually huge?
Unlike our inability to see an uncut diamond’s true brilliance, God gives us glimpses of our finished product by faith. But just as babies don’t come out of the womb talking, running, chewing with a full set of teeth, or reading and writing; there is a process that we must endure to get to that expected end that God has for us. Perhaps your baby steps are your cuts of brilliance. Perhaps your baby steps are in that GED. Perhaps your baby steps are in the pursuance of a degree at the community college; the university or the seminary. Perhaps your baby steps are in writing that book, launching that business, starting that blog, that gym, that new haircut, that dress, that pair of pants, that entry-level job, that church home, that Sunday school class. Perhaps your baby steps are in acknowledging your call from God. What every your baby steps are; all you have to do is take a step. It doesn’t matter how trivial it seems, or how someone else might belittle your accomplishment. It’s a big thing to step out to improve yourself and to glorify God. There’s a verse in Zechariah that comes to mind when I think of baby steps. Zechariah 4:10 says, “For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel.” (NRSV) …The New Living Translations says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
My friends, I believe, when we allow the Lord to lead us, baby steps are HUGE. Psalm 37:23 says, “Our steps are made firm in the Lord, when he delights in our way.” (NRSV) My last questions today: “Are you taking steps toward the better that God wants for you?” Do you believe that your baby steps are huge?”
Thank you for joining me in these Monday moments of reflection. Join me in conversation. I’d love to hear from you. We’ll talk soon.
Originally posted 2015-11-30 14:31:48.