Any time we start new practices, the biggest obstacle is taking that step from theory into reality. It is nice to dream, and when our thoughts and ideas are still in that abstract world, we can let them grow as big as we like. That is the safe space. It is fun and fuzzy. When we actually want to move those dreams into reality, the work begins. That can be scary and we come to realize how those big dreams will be limited (at least at first) and we will have to start small in order to fit them into our world.
Small beginnings grow and develop, like a seed in the ground or an embryo in the womb. There is a saying “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings.” It comes from the story of rebuilding the temple of God in Jerusalem, as told by Zechariah (in Chapter 4). In this story, the man to rebuild the temple was starting from scratch with a huge project ahead of him. It must have been intimidating to contemplate moving from dream to doing, the work ahead overwhelming. But even though he started small, he could look forward to the day when he would see the completed project.
Starting small doesn’t mean we have to abandon our dreams, in fact we need to keep the vision of the completed project before us as motivation for the work we are putting in now. This matters to pregnant women as they fight morning sickness, knitters casting on their stitches, and to builders who have to level the previous structure to make way for something better. Keeping the end goal in mind helps us focus on the task at hand, taking each new step as it comes until we reach the finish line.
My big dream right now is to write this blog (and I want it to be good). I know that part of doing something new and doing it well is just starting. With that in mind, I plan to blog every day for the first few weeks and then transition to a once a week posting. That way I can get some practice in, establish a rhythm and make it my own. These are the days of small beginnings for me. Maybe you have a goal you have been wanting to bring into reality. Don’t be afraid to start small and work hard to make it happen!