by Andrew Cromwell
Our lives are steered like sailing ships headed across a vast ocean. The destination is far ahead and it will take many weeks, if not months, to arrive. At the beginning, it is important simply to get headed in the right direction—there is plenty of time to make adjustments since the destination is so far off—but as time passes it is increasingly important to make small corrections to our course. The longer we wait to adjust, the more miles we traverse and the farther off course we steer. If we wait too long, we find that we may have to go backwards if we want to end up where we were headed.
Charting the course of our lives is very similar. We know we want to get from point "A" to point "B" but they are far apart. We want to get an education so we enroll at a local college, but the destination—the diploma—is years (and many classes and term papers) ahead of us. We want to raise a healthy and whole family, but the destination—the kids leaving the nest as well-adjusted individuals ready to take on the world—is two decades into the future. We want to lose 30 pounds, but the destination—that favorite pair of jeans that we can no longer wear—just seems beyond our reach.
We all know that if nothing changes, nothing will change. We all know that we have to get started if we are ever going to get to where we want to go. But something about the size of the task ahead freezes us in our tracks. Sometimes it is because we have tried and failed before. Sometimes it is because we just can't believe that our destination is even possible for us to reach. Whatever the reason, we delay. We talk ourselves out of the changes necessary to accomplish our goals. So instead of making a course correction, we continue to sail. And the longer we wait, the harder it is to make the change.
Let me encourage you, there is still time. But also let me urge you, there will not always be time. While the destination is often many months or years ahead of us, if we do not make the small course adjustments today, we will delay and may even miss our goal.
The great news is, often a small correction is all that is needed today. A little change makes a big difference when you have a long way to go. And once you have made one change, the next one gets a little easier. Before you know it, you are well on your way.
So maybe, for this week, you don't eat that extra portion at mealtime. Don't starve yourself; don't go on some crazy diet. Just do something measured and attainable. Maybe, if you haven't been to school in 10 years but you know you want to complete your degree, just enroll in one or two classes (not five)! You get the idea.
What change are you going to make today? Don't talk yourself out of it, don't delay any longer, and don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the goal. Remember what Psalm 119:1 says, "You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God."