Baby Steps

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]he tortoise won. So, why do we have so much focus in this life on living like a hare?  We over glorify the fast and flashy versus the slow, small and steady progress. It is as though we have amnesia for laws of physics. Momentum is easier to maintain, once established, than it is to create it.  Momentum blessed by God becomes “Holy MOMENTUM.”  This is a force that nothing can withstand.  I can’t prove it with formulas but I have seen it in my life and others. It is those instances when obstacles will try to slow momentum down but, with the blessing and power of God, they eventually bow down and the world cannot explain it.  It is in those situations that God is glorified. But don’t take my word for it.  Let me share an example in scripture.

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="18" align="center"]Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. -John 14:12[/mk_blockquote]

Jesus came and put into motion a holy momentum through His life and His sacrifice on the cross.  His redeeming power lives in us and it is in that resurrection power that operates in each of us. You could go as far to say that when you accept Jesus as your savior, you have supercharged your life with the holy momentum of God.

Why then do so many believers never experience this kind of momentum?

It goes back to the submission and trust.  Even though God is sovereign and He can change things in a moment if He wills, our God does not violate our free will.  His word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11).  Additionally, as you sow you shall also reap.  If you accept Jesus as your savior and walk into the inheritance of His kingdom you still have to choose to leverage all the benefits.  We have been given the keys to heaven.  Similarly to the keys to a car, we must learn how to use them and also learn the functions of the car being driven or we’ll never get to where we intended to go.

The solution, I believe, lies in the fact that big success starts small.  The world around us is obsessed with the fast and flashy.  “The bigger, the better.”  “The quicker, the better.”  But is that really true for all things?  Does anyone remember the tortoise and the hare?  I for one am glad that things in the kingdom of Heaven are not automatic.  Man that is a dangerous thing to write! (God, plug your ears. That is not an invitation for you to slow things down in my life. Insert smiley emoticon here).  In all seriousness, I am going to be bold enough to say it because I don’t want to live afraid.  And I know you don’t either.

My life has been an example of that.  Things don’t come quickly to me.  As I look back on my life, the baby steps that got me here are what trained me and taught me more than any quick successes ever could have.

Here is a quick story of this.

When I first started swimming, I was always the 2nd best on my club team.  I had close friends that had quick success, early on, in the events I was best at.  I started to believe I was only ever going to be average in swimming.  At the same time, there was a passion inside me for more.  At the age of twelve, I remember going to a swim meet as the “towel girl.”  Yep! Just like it sounds, I really had no reason to be there but to watch others swim.  One of my teammates made Junior Nationals; that’s a big deal to a thirteen year old.  My coach thought it would be good for me to attend a meet at this level as I had never been in that environment.  She placed in the top eight, which was awesome.  I watched in the stands.

Instead of opening my eyes to what it takes to compete on that level, I chose to compare myself to my friend.  I was not as strong as her.  I was in the awkward pubescent stage of life.  I couldn’t do the same level of workouts as her.  I would think, over and over again: Will I ever make it to a high level in swimming?

One of the biggest blessings of my life came when, for about 3 months, my friend switched swim teams and I was left to train alone.  I practiced on my own and was able to focus on my strengths.  Those practices were very challenging, mentally.  Yet, little by little, I became stronger and faster.  Baby steps.  Once we were back on the same team again, it was amazing to me how much my capacity had increased and she had stayed at the same level.  What had happened with me?  I shifted focus to trust the process.  I was free from the mental prison that my process had to look like her process.

I believe perseveranceis what God’s desire is to build in us.  Take the focus off of how fast and how far others get in a certain time frame.  Ask yourself, “What has God placed in front of me today?”  Tend to that!  Consider the parable of the talents. (Matthew 25:14-29)  If you faithfully work with what God has blessed you with, however small it may be, He will bless you with more.  He does not want to bless you to take away the gift or talent.  However, when we get so focused on the result and not the journey, we miss the point.  We miss the lesson.

Have I made a successful case for the baby step process?  Intellectually this concept is easy to grasp but now the assignment is yours to let it resonate in your heart.  Do you believe it enough to endure the pain and struggle of the process?  Dig into the Bible and see for yourself all the stories of Heroes going through the gauntlet of training, baby steps, to get their dream to come to pass.  Here are just a few: Joseph, David, Esther, Abraham, Mary, Paul, Elijah, Isaac, and yes, even Jesus.

I dare say if you want to be in company with these incredible men and women of faith, start looking at baby steps as the most powerful and the wisest route to take toward your dream.  Believe it or not, it is the small baby steps that establish holy momentum.  Baby steps build your faith.  They test your faith as well.  But God is not after results.  (He has that covered.) He made this world in six days after all.  Our almighty Father is after something far more precious than results.  He is after the heart, mine, yours and the heart of your neighbor.

Let us commit to walk the slow and steady baby step process and keep our hearts resting in the hands of the Lord.  This raises the question what is your next baby step?