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Small Decisions, Big Changes
… a new beginning!
Terry R. Baughman
“The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live” (Psalm 69:32). “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation” (Psalm 25:4-5).
Sometimes tragic events motivate change in our personal lives. Health concerns, accidents, and seeing others who face challenges may cause us to reevaluate some of our bad choices and anticipated outcomes. Other times we may be challenged to change by a motivational speaker, resolutions for a new year, or the realization that we are not as young as we once were.
Changes began with a decision. A decision to begin. A simple stated conviction that we must do something different about our future often spurs the necessary steps to bring about change. We may be challenged to lose weight, eat more healthy foods, or adopt new habits in our personal behaviors.
To lose weight we may begin counting calories, attend motivational classes, join the latest diet fad, or purchase a unique meal plan to follow. Making the decision to start is often the greatest step toward producing change. Confessing to others that we are going to do something different to enhance our future holds us accountable to those to which we have become answerable. Each successful day adds to the success of the diet plan. Each incremental loss of weight brings satisfaction and the motivation to continue the regiment for weight reduction.
Other areas of self-improvement may be inspired by reading a book, listening to a podcast, or enrolling in an educational program. In our media saturated culture there are multiple opportunities and resources to find assistance and instruction in almost any endeavor of self-help application. Learning a new language can be aided with an online tutorial. Exercise programs can be streamed on a digital device or joined online with instructors providing guidance through a video display or personal earbuds.
Academic instruction can take place with audiobooks during the morning commute or while waiting in line for customer service. Modern technology makes learning possible wherever we find ourselves or whenever we make the time for processing new information. It all begins with a decision to start and taking the steps of commitment.
We often desire to be more systematic in Bible reading, more purposeful in prayer, and more committed to personal devotional reading and study. As we become busy with life and the many demands on our schedules it is often easy to neglect important spiritual disciplines. During this time of new beginning take some time to evaluate your commitment to these life-changing practices. Make the decision and take the small steps to initiate new habits and spiritually beneficial behaviors.
In 1969 as Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being to step on the lunar surface he famously stated, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Sometimes we fail to see the significance of one small step. However, when that one step sets our course toward spiritual pursuits and confirms our direction to follow the path of discipleship it may indeed become a giant leap toward our goal to become more like Jesus!
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4 NIV).