The Write 28 Day Challenge I’m taking part in gives word prompts for each day we participants want to use one. But today I’m using an old November Five Minute Friday prompt I interpreted as this collage instead of a free write: “One”!
Yesterday’s post (in essence) answered the question, “How do you begin a journey? Or a project? Or a high and holy endeavor? In what sort of condition? What kind of shape should get yourself in to start?”
The answer that wove between the lines of that post: The shape or state you are in right now! In your pajamas and robe, in your splattered paint clothes or your muddy barn boots; with your crutches stuck under your arms or that bandage still wrapped ’round your head; with your broken heart writhing or your overstrained brain throbbing. As you are. That’s how to start.
Today’s post addresses the query, What should you do–first, or primarily; or at all?
Start with… One.
You’ve probably heard the saying “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Lao Tsu). That’s a no-brainer, really. If you don’t take that first step, wobbly and uncertain, timid and tentative though it may be, of course you won’t get anywhere.
But I’m thinking of more than that right now. I’m reflecting on how effective it can be to focus on almost any one step instead of a hundred, or even ten—to get any endeavor going, moving forward, chug, chug, chug, maybe building up energy and speed, maybe eventually even sprouting wings and flying to heights you never imagined.
The thing is, you may be starting with a burgeoning to-do list–or near zero energy, or both! Ill health or physical limitations, external hindrances and roadblocks, uncertainty and lack of confidence, discouragement and even downright depression can make it hard even to put that one foot one inch forward.
But that small step is do-able. So you do just that. Maybe that whole big pile of dishes in the sink really is overwhelming. But you can wash. one. dish. Or you can rinse. one. dish. and stick it in the dishwasher. Then you can walk away from the sink if you want.
Maybe that Mt Everest of papers making your desk hard to close is daunting. But you can file, (or toss) one. paper. And then walk away from the desk.
Only I don’t think you’re likely to walk away, from sink or desk. Not after just. one. That was so ridiculously easy, you’re likely to see one more plate, or one more paper as easy to handle, too.
Besides, success breeds success. It really does. When you keep your goals low on the shelf and easy to reach, then attain them, it gives you confidence to go on and stretch a bit more.
Yet one of the most ground-breaking things I’ve learned to do in this area of “one thing” has been to ask God, in a time of quiet coming aside from the busy and tense, “What one thing would You have me do today?” Especially when I have a long list of to-do’s and have been rushing thither and yon to get them all done, I am often surprised at the answer He leads me to.
I won’t tell you my answers, the ones He nudged before individual me. I’ll just invite you to do the same thing, after quieting your soul, drawing near to Him, stilling yourself and tuning in the ears of your own heart.
Now with the summing up of this post, I’ve done my “one thing” for today. I’ve taken that one step. I wonder what He would have me do next, or not bother doing.
How about you? What one thing do you think He would have you do today?
For a set of links to all the other posts in this “Meandering Forward” series, go to this page, which will be updated daily as new posts appear in the blog content.