At the beginning of a new year most people dream of making big changes. The problem is that we often forget how the majority of big changes actually happen. When talking about making life changes, the truth is that they almost always start with small changes first.
While we might be tempted to think only about the big picture goals we have in mind, it’s imperative that we backtrack from those big goals and break them down into the small steps necessary to actually get there.
The big truth of big changes is that they require small changes done faithfully over time, and small changes done faithful over time tend to payoff in very big ways down the road.
Nobody loses a lot of weight all at once. Nobody gets out of debt suddenly. Nobody improves their relationships overnight. But, everyone that ever did any of these things started one day with a small change.
And then they kept at it. And then they kept going. And then they hit a snag and dropped the ball but they started again and kept at it again. And then one day, the big change of which they had been dreaming actually started to appear on the horizon and, as they kept being faithful to the small changes day in and day out, it got closer and closer until the final day when it had arrived. Most big life changes happen that way.
At one point God stirred the hearts of a bunch of His people to rebuild His temple which had been destroyed and sat in ruins. It was a huge task that was going to take a lot of time and effort. As the work began, God said this to His people…
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. Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)
God was saying that He gets excited when He sees the small starts because He knows where they lead. He knows how powerful they are. And, He knows that every big thing starts as a small thing.
He also cautions His people not to despise the small beginnings. He’s warning them to not discount the small start or think it’s nothing in light of such a big goal. God knows that every big goal — even the biggest goals — must eventually yield and give way to small changes made faithfully every day without fail.
Small changes cause small ripples. Small changes done without fail will eventually create a tidal wave of ripples. The trick is to keep going.
Remember, God is excited about the small changes you’re going to start today and you should be too.