At the end of 2017, as I thought about my goals for 2018 and if I wanted to set resolutions or create a vision board or have a Word of the Year, something else happened instead. I kept getting messages from the people around me, my life, and circumstances about “small things.” This is actually a scripture in Zechariah 4:10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” More than once in my life as I was tackling a large endeavor, the first part of this verse would come to me, and then in 2017 and 2018, this was my verse. I was impressed that I needed to keep my focus on small steps (and consistency) and rather than look at the small changes or steps with scorn, I should rejoice in every little bit of progress. I haven’t done so great with rejoicing with every little bit of progress, but I do see repeatedly that it is our small, faithful actions repeated over time that add up to us conquering a huge goal—after all isn’t that how we get out of debt, lose weight, improve our health, go from being able to run for two minutes to being able to run two miles? Most of us cannot imagine writing an entire novel, but we can possibly imagine finding time each day to write a page, which in a year would add up to a long novel!
Small things add up to big things over and over again. Small things repeated faithfully each day add up to big things—this is true, so let’s make sure that we want that big effect. The effect of looking at trashy blogs or social media for a few minutes every day also has an effect over time, so let’s focus on the actions that we want to see grow, not the ones we would like to eliminate. Through this verse about small things, I wrote a book in 2018—largely in 20 minute chunks of time. I finished a couple of sewing projects, did my weekly grading for courses I was teaching, cleaned my house, exercised and many other things. I have a very tough time finding large blocks of time to work toward my dreams. Nope. Can’t do that. Oh, but the things I can do in 20 minutes pieces of time. Such a small thing—twenty minutes may seem like it’s such a small fragment of time that it doesn’t even count, but believe me, it does. In 365 days, twenty minutes daily comes up to 121.6 hours, or 5 solid days! That twenty minutes a day adds up to 2 hours and 20 minutes of weekly time spent on your project or goal. That may not be much if you just do it a day or two, but don’t despise that small beginning! Keep going, and you will be amazed at your progress.