Small Beginnings

flowerbed3

I am not a gardener. At all. My dream house would have no green space to maintain at all…or, better yet, I’d win the lottery and be able to pay someone to maintain it all for me!

Nevertheless, I awoke this morning determined to give my full attention to the sad looking flower beds surrounding the house. After several weeks of neglect, the once-colorful gardens had morphed into an unrecognizable sea of thorns, dried flowers, and unruly weeds. It was getting on my last nerve.

And it was time to do something about it – dislike for gardening or not.

So, armed with my trowel, shovel, and gloves, I planted my feet and dug in (pun fully intended).

And weeded.
And clipped.
And shoveled.

As the sun grew hotter, the weeds grew more stubborn, and my muscles grew more fatigued, the thought of quitting grew more and more alluring.

After a while, I did.

I didn’t accomplish all that I wanted. But I did accomplish something. 

It’s a start. And right now, that’s all that matters.

Sometimes life is like that, too.

We start out on a self-improvement project – physical, emotional, spiritual – with good intentions. We tend to it carefully. Bodies strengthen. Spirits soar. Life begins to blossom with potential and bring beauty both to ourselves and those around us.

But then the reality of maintenance kicks in. The monotony of day-in and day-out hard work and the busyness of less-important duties swallow up the tender yet time-consuming care needed to maintain the garden of life.

And slowly, insidiously, weeds creep in and begin to choke out the work that we invested in ourselves….physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Until one day when we wake up, look out the window, and see nothing but an overgrown bed of weeds, thorns, and thistles.

And so, discouraged but resolute, we gather our nerve, our shovels, our trowels…
Plant our feet…
And dig in.

But before long we find out something:
Pulling life’s weeds is hard work.

It’s uncomfortable.
It’s monotonous.
It’s tedious.

Sometimes we walk away discouraged to see so little progress with so much work.

And yet, we shouldn’t. Because sometimes, in the garden of life, a start is good enough.

We don’t have to clear out every weed in our lives in one sweep.
Sometimes – maybe all of the time – one or two is enough.

God tells His people to not despise the day of small beginnings. Oftentimes, those small beginnings grow to become the most glorious accomplishments of all.

Does your life resemble a weedy flower bed today?

Don’t let it overwhelm you.
Focus on one area.
One square foot.
One or two weeds.

Pull. Rake. Shovel.

Then stand back and admire your accomplishments.

And come back and do it again.
And again.

Because small beginnings often lead to glorious endings.

You can count on it.

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