October 17, 2011
I love this picture, of a snail, inching her way along, while other animals galloped, ran, leaped past her. Yet, because she was determined, she took tiny, painstaking steps (slithers?) toward her goal, finally arriving there, not being deterred by the pace or capabilities of others.
How necessary this skill is when we are seeking to progress in majorly difficult areas of life:
- our health
- job goals
- character growth
Think about it right now: what area in your life feels like climbing a steep mountain to ever get where you’d like to be? One of the most important keys is determining to take small, persistent steps, day after day, week after week, month after month, not giving up until you get to your goal.
I remember a time when I lived in New Zealand where I set out on a hike with a group of people who were about 15 years younger than me. After walking for a while in the hot sun, we came to the last section of our hike. To my dismay, the trail ended with a very steep, sandy cliff…it went straight up before us, and looked almost impossible to climb. The others started forward with youthful zeal and fitness, struggling, yet making their way slowly, clawing with their hands and feet.
I literally thought it might be impossible for me to make it to the top, but there was no other option but to try. I shot a prayer for help up to God, and decided to ONLY look at the next place to put my hand or foot on the way up, rather than look all the way up at my overall goal. I decided that if I could accomplish each next footstep or handhold, I would inevitably, finally make it to the top.
And guess what? I did it!
When I was tired (which was constantly) or felt defeated ( again, constantly), I reminded myself, “You have the strength and ability to make just the next step.”
This technique applies to so many areas of life.
So think about your cliff. What is your next step, however small, to make progress. A conversation? A book? Some online research? A phone call? Just do it, then the next step, then the next.
Follow the example of a snail.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we shall reap a harvest, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)