“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Now I don’t always quote ancient Chinese philosophers and I don’t know much about Lao Tzu, but this proverb was just what I needed to hear today. I was (once again) feeling overwhelmed by all that I had to do.
I have to study for at least four whole hours each day?
I have to finish this 100 page reading assignment in only three days?
I have to be study and prepare for an exam that I will take in less than 2 weeks?
Those all sound so big and scary. Four whole hours. 100 pages. An exam and less than two weeks. How will I do it? But that’s when I remember that “a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” One single step.
Four hours of study? The first step is simply to sit down and actually study.
100 pages? I have to start by opening the book and reading the first page.
An exam in two weeks? I simply start studying.
There are definitely times when I need to look at the big picture. There are times to keep deadlines in mind. There are times when I really need that kind of motivation. But there are other times when I really just need to take that first step and watch as the 1,000 mile journey flies by.
And it’s when I stop living in the future and just start taking steps that I remember that my God is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). He isn’t just waiting for me at the end of this challenge. He is God with me. Right here, right now. Giving me strength to take that first step and every single one after it. He’s not far ahead at the finish line; He walks beside me, strengthening me, supporting me, and upholding me.
Instead of looking only at the big picture, I need to take that first step, remembering that my God is with me all the way.