On my run today I passed a house that has been in the process of being built for the past 18 months. It started out as a tiny little house on a 5-acre block that regularly resembled a swamp as it flooded in wintertime. Today there is a large expansive home on a raised block, with an impressive entrance, sealed driveways and grassy paddocks. Someone obviously had a vision and the desire to see it happen. They knew they had to start somewhere, taking what they had, and chose to begin.
Life one could say is like that house. We have to start somewhere, even if it is only a little to begin with; perhaps only a thought or idea, or a desire in our hearts, which slowly becomes a dream. But the truth is that everything starts from something somewhere.
There’s something quietly powerful about just starting. Activity breeds more activity. Starting gives others permission to follow suit. It may look messy and takes some effort and creativity to make it work, just like the new house being built in swampy land, where truckloads of clean fill soil first had to be brought onto the property to lay a higher and more solid foundation for the new house to be built. Starting can often be the hardest part, but God says that He empowers us, and enables us to run our race, to reach our goals, and to fulfil our dreams. He actually says He will work in us to accomplish far more than we can think, dream, ask or imagine when we are connected to Him. (Ephesians 3:20)
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to begin something; to try. The expert in anything was once a beginner; the first steps taken are often just “baby steps.” And the important thing to realise is that we don’t have to be great to start, or even have it all together; we just have to start somewhere!
When starting we must evaluate our approach. As opposed to fantasizing about a big dream that may in fact cause us to hesitant and be unsure of where to start, a more effective way of dreaming about possibilities for the future is to think about the processes that are involved in reaching a goal, rather than just the end state of achieving it.
Think about and write down the steps so you can see them on paper. Break them into manageable actions so you’re not simply floundering with a dream that’s too big for you to grasp hold of.
Cut yourself some slack – If we hesitate to begin something new long enough we can fall into the trap of feeling like it’s simply too late to get started. “What’s the point?” we might ask ourselves. “I’m already so behind.” Instead ask God to clarify what’s in your heart and for Him to help you start. Then forgive yourself for procrastinating. There is no point berating ourselves for hesitating. Studies reveal that forgiving oneself for procrastinating is likely to be an essential step in effecting motivational change.
We all know our weaknesses, so just forgive yourself, get going and start something, somewhere!
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Prayer: Lord please help me to start something today. I choose to let go of procrastination, to make a plan, and to simply begin something somewhere. In Jesus name amen.