There’s greatness in starting small.

We don’t usually think of it this way. The very notion of moving out in faith seems to imply taking a bold, extravagant step of some sort.

We quickly think of the biblical prototypes:

Moses parting the Red Sea,

Joshua leading the Israelites to demolish the wall of Jericho with a shout,

David marshaling his troops for battle,

Gideon confronting the indomitable Midianite army with only three hundred soldiers,

Esther going before King Ahasuerus knowing that her life hung in the balance,

Peter preaching salvation to the large throng of Jews gathered on the day of Pentecost.

It’s easy to conclude that if we’re not throwing caution to the winds, we’re not really taking a step of faith.

Yet Scripture also shows great respect for the small, subtle, unspectacular first step. Consider these examples:
In the parable of the talents, Jesus commended the two servants who invested their money, and upbraided the one who failed to give his one coin to the bankers (Mt 25:14-30).

Few first steps are less inspiring than putting money in the bank. No one notices, there are no neon lights, and there is no immediate reward for this act of discipline.

In fact, the period you must wait for any significant benefit can seem interminable. Yet with time, the incremental gains grow larger and larger, and the eventual profit is considerable.

It’s striking that Jesus paid such respect to prudent financial investment. Clearly, too, he intended the parable of the talents to be an analogy to other areas of life where we take risks for his sake.

It conveys an unmistakable lesson–that we shouldn’t neglect the benefit of a small beginning in any venture of faith.

Ruth’s marriage to Boaz–one of the most celebrated in Scripture–resulted from a small, ignoble step forward.

The marriage became possible because Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, moved from Moab to Bethlehem. This move, detailed in the book of Ruth, was anything but a triumphant one for these two women.

Both went to Bethlehem as widows–Naomi returning grief-stricken to her homeland, and Ruth following along out of devotion to Naomi. The move was borne more of necessity than of vibrant vision for the future.

Yet at least they did something to break the inertia of their grief and make a fresh start. In time the move brought benefits that exceeded their wildest expectations.

Ruth met Boaz and married him, then gave birth to a son who became an ancestor of David. Naomi also found new life in this family connection, and in the many friendships that opened for her in Bethlehem.

An unglamorous step forward brought about a wellspring of life for Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, and countless others who enjoyed the family relationships that resulted in the succeeding generations.

We shouldn’t neglect the benefit of a small beginning in any venture of faith and getting started toward a goal makes all the difference.
Many thanks for stopping by, until next time…


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