- Melinda K. Bowens
So, what if I...started small?
“Well, you have to start somewhere.”
How many times have you heard this phrase uttered somewhere? It could have been a movie, a teacher, or another well-meaning adult in your life who really didn’t know what else to say. But chances are we have all heard this sentence somewhere in our lifetime. Now, I fully believe the phrase has validity, but sometimes it’s tossed into a conversation without proper context.
Because exactly where is the somewhere I’m supposed to start? Does it have a GPS locations? Are there other people there I can call in case I get lost on my way? Has anyone else been there (so I can ask questions in advance to see if I’ll like it)? These are the questions I would personally like answered before I venture to this strange land called “somewhere.”
I’m naturally a big-picture person. I can give you the conclusion of a paper before it’s ever written. I envision the impact of a business before a mission statement is created. I see the race being over before I ever start training. Being able to see the big picture from the beginning certainly has is pros and cons. I’m able to always have my goals in mind, but sometimes (a lot of times) my steps in between are a bit shaky. Meaning, it was enough to get me where I was trying to go, but I probably missed some major lessons that could have benefited myself and others.
So, why not just slow down, refocus, start small and try something different? Easy answer: that’s boring! Yep, I said what I said! That sounds like one of the most boring suggestions ever known to man. Who wants to take it down a notch when they’ve been doing everything in their power to keep everything going full speed?! Not me! And if you’re still reading, not you either.
Now if you agreed with that statement and you’re still nodding your head in agreement, let me say one more thing. When we need all those answers and don’t want to readjust our plans that is also code for we are controlling human beings. If we choose to be honest with ourselves, we know we can be controlling and those who love us know we can be as well. And quietly being controlling is a symptom showing how much we don’t trust God like we say we do.
Now I hate to rain on the parade (not really) because I meant everything I said, which is why I know that level of striving doesn’t always come from the healthiest of places. For me, one of the things I have always tried to “out strive” was my father being in prison and more importantly why he was there. Because what did it say about me to be the daughter of someone who tried to take another person’s life. (His story of redemption is another post for another day, but it exist.)
So, what are you trying to “out strive” today?
Part of the reason many of us don’t slow down and start smaller is because honestly, it’s a bad look. Or at least we think it’s a bad look. This is especially difficult when we’ve been “high achievers” for long periods of time. Because what would people say if we suddenly stopped? What would happen if we truly took a break to recoup? The truth, maybe a lot would be said or no one would notice at all. Question: Does it really matter?
Trying to do all the things, all of the time is a tiring pace to keep up for anyone (including us super humans *sarcasm*). Today, let’s give ourselves permission to start small, to stop “out striving” our past, and trust God with the details.
Question of the Day:
How can you stop striving and start small?
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand." (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that search all around the world.)
Zechariah 4:10 NLT
To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 GNT
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Matthew 23:12 HCSB
Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 HCSB