Holy Baby Steps
When we’re ready to change our lives, we want it to happen fast. We want to lose the weight, today. We want an answer to our dispute, now. We want to be the best father to our children, instantly. The problem with the demand for the instant is that it doesn’t last.
By now you know that I’m a productivity nut. I love to schedule my day out, I love to find more efficient ways of doing things, and I love finding and implementing new tools.
It used to be that I would find a new strategy, implement it the next day, and a week or so later, I’d be back in my old ways. I would like the feeling of trying something new and getting a productivity bump, but I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t sustain it.
The problem was my perspective. I was expecting to solve a long-term problem in the short-term. Addicts don’t transform their lives in one instant after years of addiction. We shouldn’t expect any better results.
The person you are today, for better or for worse, is the culmination of years of decisions. If you’re living life right, that didn’t happen because you made one right choice. You made a series of smaller decisions and used discipline over time.
In the spiritual life, the same axiom is true. Conversion doesn’t happen over night, it happens over time.
Conversion doesn’t happen in one major decision, it happens in dozens of smaller, seemingly insignificant, daily choices. The trick is to take advantage of these daily opportunities. Hundreds of small steps equals one giant leap.
The most important trick to taking holy baby steps is to avoid getting discouraged. Discouragement means having a lack of hope, and hope is trust placed in God’s promise of salvation. So when we get discouraged, we doubt God’s Word. Ouch. You’ll make great strides forward and you’ll have magnificent failures. The trick is to immediately push forward.
So, if you want to pray daily, start small. If you want to cut out one of the deadly sins in your life, start attacking the roots.
By staying dedicated and intentional, you can accomplish any goal you set out to achieve in the spiritual life.