Weather report from heaven: Sunny and bright with an abundance of light, and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture– “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”- Genesis 1:1
Insight: Begin! Just begin. I have heard that thought a lot recently and it is so simple, but yet so necessary. Nothing happens until we simply begin. Procrastination will never get us where we want to go. We simply must take a first step, a first action, make a first call, ask a first question in order to begin the process of achieving whatever we are desiring as an outcome. My reflections recently have led me to three thoughts why I have struggled at various times throughout my life to simply begin: 1. Fear 2. Perfection 3. Distraction
Has this ever happened to you? Are you afraid of failing? Anxious about what others may say about you? I can answer yes, yes and yes. These are fear based thoughts and mostly emanate from the fact that we are looking at our own skills, or limitations, and not at God’s power to bring us across the finish line. Again, we simply need to begin, and then trust God more. Has the quest for perfection stifled your ability to begin? I often have not started because I thought my plan wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t perfect. Then I learned no plan is, and it is better to execute 100% on a 70% plan, than to execute 20% on a 100% plan. The point is no plan is ever perfect, nor will it be. But that shouldn’t stop us from beginning on the plan we do have. Distraction is a common killer of beginning. When we lose focus, the world is waiting with a million pieces of digital fentanyl to keep us from regaining that focus. It takes discipline and action to begin. As the Nike commercial of the 90’s said- just do it!
Here is a good way to think about this. Say your friend wants you to run a ½ marathon with them, and you feel like you should, and really want to, but you are out of shape and don’t have much free time. You begin to procrastinate and then you begin to have fear about being able to complete the race and then your anxiety increases as the days go by without you taking any action. The antidote? Begin! Start walking if needed at first. Then try to run 1 mile. Then try to increase it until your stamina builds. Then do the proper nutritional adjustments you need. By simply beginning, these other steps will naturally start occurring as you move closer to the date of the race. But nothing happens without beginning. The same is true of a business you want to start, a new relationship, a new career path, or a new way to live your life that goes against the “popular” narrative of today’s society. Maybe you “begin” cutting out social media or television, smoking or drinking. Maybe you begin donating excess clothes to a shelter or serving those less fortunate.
Don’t let past regrets stop you. Your past can’t be allowed to ruin your future. Here’s a great quote by CS Lewis that can inspire you to begin again, whatever that new beginning looks like for you. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” How? By a new beginning! The possibilities are endless. Even God had to “begin,” as captured above in Genesis 1:1. So the new word for this season of Lent is to begin!
Prayer: Father God, help us to take a bold first step, and to “begin” whatever we are trying to achieve in our lives. There is no time to waste. Remove all fear and anxiety, the need for perfection, and all the distractions that are keeping us from starting something new, and let us simply begin! In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen!
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