Every journey starts with one step. Lao Tzu said something like that, I believe.
It's true though. Every journey starts with one step.
Knowing the mess that is human life, the complicated dances we do to make things work and make up for our dysfunction, a journey is more than just a trendy way to talk about faith & God. It is an adequate description of what Paul calls the Spirit of Christ being "formed in us." (Gal. 4)
It takes time. It takes distance.
Yet any journey must begin somewhere. It begins with a step. It begins with pulling out of your driveway, stepping out of your door, buying that plane ticket or getting those third-world prepping shots. It begins. It must begin.
So why is it that many of us struggle with our growth and character change in Christ?
It seems simple to say it this way, but in a nutshell:
We never begin. We never take a first small step. The reason is that we haven't yet fallen in love with the destination.
We never think how good it could be to have patience, so we never do the small practices such as choosing the longer line at the checkout and getting in it.
We never think how good it could be to live without anger, so we never practice extended periods of disconnecting from being "productive" and allow God to control the world.
We never think how good it could be to live beyond the influence of our compulsions, so we never fast that one meal a day/one day a week (or fast from technology thirty minutes a day/one day a week/one week a month/one month a year).
Jesus invites us to this - to see how good it could be to live as if God was King right here and now. He invites us to pray,
"...your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10)
He invites us to know,
"I am the resurrection and the life (present tense)..." (John 11:25)
He invites us to understand,
"If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
We have this moment, this poignant and pregnant moment that's waiting to bring life to us. And yet we're caught. We're frustrated and confused and irritated and overwhelmed. Why?
Because we have lost the simplicity of just beginning. Start small, there are no reasons to be heroic, focus on progress rather than perfection, and follow the road that leads to life (John 14:6).
Begin. One step. Today.