I have a friend who uses the phrase “little by little” in reference to Christian life and work. His point is that most things are not accomplished in one giant leap, but in a series of small steps over time.
My friend is a positive, encouraging, faith-filled person who seemingly doesn't grow weary in his well doing, but perseveres through trials. He is able to accomplish much for God’s Kingdom. Why? Because he understands even a small step is a victory which plays a part in the larger process that must take place for a desired conclusion.
It is easy to become impatient and believe baby steps are really failures because the task at hand is only impacted marginally rather than being completed. Fortunately, life—and my wise friend—have taught me to value small steps, even baby steps, and to be encouraged by them.
Dave Ramsey, a well-known radio personality and Christian financial guru, uses this “Baby Steps” philosophy when teaching how to get out of debt and have a solid financial foundation. He teaches principles which help others build wealth, at least to the extent their resources allow. Many people all over the world have benefited from his advice. These small steps don't accomplish all that is necessary, but they help start the journey and are critical to laying a successful financial foundation for one’s life.
It’s Simple, Really
Back in my seminary days, a friend and I talked about spending the summer backpacking through Europe. Six months before our planned trip, it occurred to me that I needed a passport. Even though there was still plenty of time, I had my picture taken, filled out my forms, and requested my passport. If the trip was going to be a reality, it was necessary for me to begin taking small steps towards my goal. I am convinced, to this day, if I had not taken that step when I did, I never would have spent that summer in Europe. I got my passport and continued taking steps. My friend did not. I spent the summer in Europe, while my friend has yet to go.
The greatest value of this principle is for our spiritual lives. What are some spiritual goals you have? If they are worthy goals, they will likely not be accomplished quickly, or without significant effort.
What are the first few steps you can take to accomplish your goal?
Baby steps will get you started, and “little by little” you will be amazed at where, by God’s grace, you can go.