Sunday, August 23, 2009

Getting Started

So many times in my life I have failed to accomplish something simply because I failed to start. There have been many things that I could have done if I had only made the attempt. What stops me? I'm sure there are many factors but two really have grabbed my attention over the last few weeks.

The first one is my past. So many times I fail to seize the opportunities that lie in front of me because of past failures, situations and experiences. I think Paul understood this struggle when he wrote this...

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the the prize 
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus"
Philippians 3:13-14

How many times have I missed out on "the prize" because I couldn't forget the past? You see when I do, Satan has me right were he wants me. If he can keep me looking behind at all of the mistakes I've made, or all the things that didn't succeed, he has me. I'm paralyzed. Stuck looking backward and missing out on what lies ahead.

The second is when the task or goal seems unattainable I often times don't even make the attempt. I think there are a lot people like me and I think that may be one of the reasons so many people have become disconnected from the church and from God. They see the journey with God as unattainable or out of reach so they give up or worse yet don't even make the attempt.

The problem is we in the church have contributed to the problem. So many un-churched and de-churched people feel like they can never measure up. They feel like the expectations of the church and therefore God can never be achieved. I often hear things like, "I've gone too far" or "that's easy for you but..." We have made the journey with God seem out of reach. Therefore they never even start.

This fall we are beginning a focus at BridgePoint we are calling "one." Part of the journey will be to help our people and those we come in contact with, focus on the journey and the process as opposed to the destination. Now don't get me wrong, the destination is important. Scripture tells us that our ultimate goal is to be Christ like. That's the "prize" we are trying to win. In no way am I diluting that goal, but if we never get started on the journey in the first place we never have a chance to "win the prize." 

A few weeks ago I said it this way on Twitter. "Running 100 miles seems overwhelming to me but running 1 mile 100 times seems quite doable." The goal may be to run 100 miles but in order to achieve that goal I have to begin by running 1. I may even need to begin by just running, period. I have to start. I have to be willing to do one thing I haven't done before. Take that one step I didn't take yesterday. 

Our journey towards and with God isn't any different.  If we can create an environment where people can see the journey as doable and achievable then maybe, just maybe, we can achieve our ultimate mission of helping as many people as possible come into a dynamic and growing relationship with God. We want them to see it as a series of "ones." One step, one movement, one conversation and simply walking one day at time with Jesus Christ. Allowing Him to help us become the one he wants us to be.

A great example is the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who  had abused his position and authority. To say he was far from who God wanted him to be would be an understatement. Jesus wanted Zacchaeus to become all he was intended to be and to make things right but He didn't ask him to change instantly. He knew that it would be a process and that process had to begin. How did it begin? What was the "one" step that Zacchaeus needed to make first? It began by climbing down out of a tree. That was it. I have to think that if Jesus had stood under that tree and yelled up to Zacchaeus all the changes he needed to make and what He was going to ultimately ask of him he would have been overwhelmed. He might have even yelled back down at Jesus, "no way, you are asking to much!" and stayed up in that tree. But Jesus knew that and began the journey by making the first step manageable and doable. He just asked him to climb down out of the tree. He could do that and a story of redemption, change and reconciliation began.

What is the "one" thing you need to do to begin the journey with God? What simple move, adjustment or act can you do that will move you a little closer to the ultimate goal God has for your life? For those who are Christ followers what is the "one"  thing you can do to help someone who may feel far away from God move one step closer to Him. It's doable. It's achievable. It's as easy as "one."

I'll write much more on this over the next few months. Let me know what your think and please visit and join the movement.


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