A new year is upon us and many of us are taking inventory and making plans to change. We desire to be better, to do better, so we make long lists of resolutions, detailed itemizations of things we need or want to change in our lives.
I think that taking inventory and having a plan is, indeed, a part of our Father’s way of life. I also believe the Father’s plans are very tender and merciful and gentle—one tiny baby-step, one small increment at a time.
Over the course of my life, I have postponed making changes—becoming abstinent—because I wasn’t willing to start with a tiny, childish, foolish-feeling, baby-step. Instead, I wanted results NOW, thank you very much.
Doing something very small and seemingly ineffective—like capturing and getting the truth into my heart where it could take root and grow up into a mighty change that could eventually be seen outwardly—wasn’t good enough. I wanted my changes to be seen outwardly.
Thank God that He gives us ample opportunity to try to live life our way—try, and fail—and gently nudges us toward His way.
When I have gone to the Lord about physical matters—the outward look or expression of my inner self—and I have been honest with Him, He is there with His baby steps. When I become humble enough to ask for help, willing to go to any lengths (no matter how small), He’s given me something. He has always shown me some tiny change that I have made in the past, and then given me another tiny change to make today. Not broad sweeping goals that may have immediate and remarkable effects, but a small, tender, heart-deep change that makes me different on the inside.
Baby steps are small, but if I will let that be enough for me and if I keep working on the inside change, eventually I find myself ready (and humble enough) to receive a second baby-step. And many baby steps later (and, yes, lots longer than I originally wanted) I find the “Titanic” of my will changing course—and I find my eating changing sufficiently enough to change my weight.
That’s the way it happened back in 1986-91, and now, at 64, I’m finding it is having to happen that way again. This time it seems that the baby-steps have to be even smaller.
Oh my goodness! I’m tempted to cry (and I do, a lot, lately).
Can I really be this still and let God be this kind to me? I mean, I want to take this chubby person and (literally) whip her into shape. And then I feel/see the look on my face, the scowl in my eyes, and know I’m slipping back into disgust for myself—and I cry.
Just like I’m crying right now.
Will I ever be healed of this tendency to impatience and “meanness” of spirit? When will I ever accept life on Life (God’s) terms and forgive myself for “losing it” (gaining it) again?
Today—this day before the new year starts—is one more day to practice forgiveness and acceptance. It’s one more day to practice humility and to be at peace with the tiny (now shuffling) baby step that I can honestly manage.
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