I’m a fan of small steps. Stop stressing out about where God will lead you over the next twenty years and just do something to serve Him over the next twenty minutes. That’s where is starts. That’s not where it ends. This is no prosperity gospel where you give the minimum and get the maximum. In this gospel, you give it all and strangely stop caring about all that stuff you used to want. But that doesn’t always happen all at once. Maybe you’re like me, and it starts with small steps.
I’ve gotten some emails asking me whether I honestly think that doing small things for God is enough. Doesn’t God expect radical abandonment? Of course He does. But you have two options. The first option is to sit around doing nothing (like I did most of my life) waiting until you are so compelled to turn your life upside down that you do it all in one shot. We’ll call this the Damascus option (Google it). The other option is to get infected. I’m getting infected.
Serving God is infectious, people. It gets into your fibers and takes over. But it needs a place to start. It takes something small you get you hooked. Here’s the deal. God built you to love feeling happy. He built you to want things. He built you to want satisfaction. The greatest trick evil ever pulled off was convincing you that the junk we buy actually delivers that satisfaction. And it does, kinda, for a little while. But the satisfaction you get from watching your high def TV is nothing compared to even the smallest act of service for God. Nothing.
I don’t advocate small steps because they are better than large steps. I advocate small steps because they are better than nothing. And let’s be blunt here for a second. A lot of us are doing nothing. I did nothing for years. Decades, actually. You can read the second chapter of my book where I describe over and over the times that God dropped lay ministry right in my lap and I was either too dumb or too stubborn to do anything with it. For me, I needed small steps to catch the infection that would lead to large steps. I think right now I’m somewhere around medium steps. But every day that goes by I see a path coming more and more clear that someday leads to radical abandonment. God shows it too me slowly because he probably knows I’m too much of a spaz to handle it all at once. My Damascus moment might be right around the corner. I need to keep working and praying to be ready for it.
I wish I didn’t need to take small steps. But I do. And they are better than the non-steps I took for the first 35 years of my life. My small steps having me starting to feel the infection working within me. I know that one day I will wake up, look at my wife, and describe to her an adventure that is both scary and awesome all at the same time and we’ll finally say, “We’re doing it. Whatever the cost. We’re doing it.” And those small steps along the way will have prepared me for that day.
I hope you get called to do something crazy. Something radical. But until that happens, please join me in taking these small steps. In the Bible we always come in at the good part. We come in right when the fishermen are dropping their nets to follow Christ. And we’re amazed that they would do that right out of the blue. But was it out of the blue? What was their backstory? What small steps had they been taking over the previous ten years before that day came? Who knows… maybe they wrote a blog.
These are my small steps. What are yours? Telling your small steps helps people to connect. It helps to get them moving in the right direction. Or, if you’re already onto big steps or even radical abandonment then I would love to read your stories and comments as well. Inspire us all. It’s what you were built to do.
We were built to be heroes. It’s about time we started acting like heroes.