The Mundane Steps
Scripture: Luke 16:10
My junior year of high school I was part of a coalition of students who banded together to push the leaders of our homeschool co-op to allow dancing at our annual Junior-Senior Banquet.
We met with sympathetic parents, pulled Bible verses about dancing out of context, and built our case. Dancing wasn’t inherently sinful, we insisted, and would be a worthwhile inclusion to the celebrations. It was basically a scene from Footloose, except twenty years later and without Kevin Bacon.
I didn’t go into the spring of my junior year fantasizing about writing letters and scouring the Bible for verses about dancing. I was imagining of twirling around a dance floor in my floor-length gown. I had a vision, but seeing it come to life was going to take investment in things I never would have day-dreamed about.
It’s been over fifteen years since then, but I still fall into similar patterns of thinking. I set my eyes on the thing I want–dancing the night away–while struggling to bring myself to the work I need to do daily to get there.
I dreamed for years of writing a book. And then, last year a publisher offered me a contract! Which means I actually had to write a book. If I just wrote 300 words each weekday, I would be done with my book in eight months. I set my goal for each day for 800 words, just to be safe.
I did not meet my goals, or my deadline. But the book got done.
When we think of vision, it’s easy to think of the big, sweeping achievements or changes we’d like to see in our lives or in the world. Everyone wants the world to be a more kind and loving place, except when someone goes through self-check out with a whole cart full of groceries.
Everyone wants to take part in the utopic vision from The Highwomen song, “a house with a crowded table, and a place by the fire for everyone,” but how many of us want to wash the dishes? Chop the firewood? Scoot closer to the person next to us to make more room at the table?
Today as you consider the question what kind of world are you for? also consider what daily, small actions are needed to make that kind of world a reality. “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and all that jazz. Eugene Peterson described following Christ as “a long obedience in the same direction.” Ususally, I approach it more as “a feverish attempt to do everything perfectly until I’m tired and angry at myself and just want to watch Netflix for three days.”
Books are written 300 words at a time.
School dances are approved one persuasive letter at a time.
Any vision we have for change requires we take the small, mundane steps along the way to get there.