Friday, September 12, 2008

One step at a time

Some good friends of ours loaned us a standing keyboard while we are in Bellingham. It has been awhile since our girls had played the piano, so they were playing on it all afternoon. Their favorite part of the keyboard is the demo key, where with just one push of a button, an assortment of beautiful songs are played. They have listened to the songs enough to know how can move their hands around the keyboard as if it is them playing. My niece was over this weekend and the girls were "playing" the piano. Her eyes were wide in disbelief that my girls could play the piano this good. It was pretty funny. This afternoon while I was watching Kamryn DEMOnstrate her abilities, I thought to myself, "It will take a long time for you to be able to play that for real." And truth is, she could someday play that good, but she will need to discipline herself greatly to get there.

I was reflecting on that thought later this evening and life really is about small steps in the same direction. We all see the Michael Phelps and the Lebron James and the Tiger Woods, but we don't know the daily discipline that goes on behind the scenes for them to be able to perform at the level that they do. Tonight I was reading an article about a man who went from jail to Yale Law School. The author of the article wrote, "It has been anything but easy. Idarraga will always have to fight his past, to convince those who have not walked in his shoes that they should take a chance on him. He tells kids that the way to keep moving ahead is by having goals and a plan to reach them.“We can learn to define our own goals!” he exclaims. “How do we get there? It begins by taking small, purposeful, consistent, disciplined steps … if you do not learn to define your own future, you already know that it will be defined for you.” He shared in this article that he would study 15 hours a day in the prison library... In Africa, there is a saying that we achieve things in life, bit by bit. I have learned personally that every marathon begins with the first mile. It is the discipline and the small steps and time that allows a person to be able to do something tomorrow that he couldn't have done today.

I fear that we have forgotten this in our spiritual lives. We are either discouraged because we are not what should be or want to be and/or we have forgotten that our spiritual lives are full of daily decisions to choose God's will and not our own. It really is about forgetting what is behind and pressing on towards what is ahead and daily moving forward in light of the great goal of Heaven. It is the discipline of being satisfied in Jesus and serving when no one is watching and recognizing that Heaven is the ultimate goal that changes how we live here. As great as it is to be an excellent piano player or basketball player or whatever else, nothing compares to the rewards that will last forever in heaven. Mayb it is memorizing a book of the Bible one verse a week. Maybe it is serving the poor once a month. Maybe it is starting to sponsor a child. So much can be accomplished for Jesus if we just do it, one day at a time. So, start today, forget what is behind and press on toward what is ahead. Contemplate the greatness of the goal that lies ahead of you. Reignite the fire that God wants to use you to make a difference in this world and that you are part of the big picture. Whatever you do, do it one step at at time, walking in the fullness of His Spirit for the glory of God.

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