We all want to gobble up life in big chunks. We want to create memories that sit like boulders in our brains for the rest of our lives. Big Moments! Capital B! Capital M!
“Hey kids, remember the time daddy wrestled that bear at the entrance of Disneyland, while the President shot off fireworks in honor of your 8th birthday? That was awesome!!!!!”
Life would be great with an unlimited bucket of exclamation points — along a fast-forward button we can smash whenever we want to get past hard work and get on to the wonderful world of success. Alas, God hasn’t set things up like that. Weill we have times in our lives when everything syncs and time stands still? Of course! We strive for those times. They build the core of our characters and the legacies of our families. But when it comes down to it, it’s really the tiniest slices of time which make the most difference.
Let’s call these the quiet moments of truth. They hold inside them exponential weight in determining if you will really be on the path God has set out for you. I have written before about the idea from Scripture of capturing every thought, but there’s a companion to that of capturing every moment of action.
If you want to stop doing something, you can use thought-capturing to stonewall bad actions, but what about when you want to start something positive.
That, naturally, brings us to the side of my bed at 5 o’clock in the morning.
During our extended Whole Donkey hiatus, I have taken up running. The last, I don’t know, 25 years of my life have been the fitness equivalent of a slowly melting candle, so making the decision to get up and go has been significant. Last Saturday I ran a 5K, but more on that later.
Because of my schedule (and a typically brutal Oklahoma summer), running early in the morning was my only option. That meant getting out of bed, tying on the Nikes and hitting the pavement around 5 a.m.
With this new chapter, it’s slowly dawned on me that the length of the run doesn’t matter and neither did the depth of my commitment to getting in better shape.
What really matters was the time, effort and energy it took to swing my feet from under the covers to the floor.
That split-second of action – real action – was the difference maker. That’s when I needed to dig out the strength that God could give me.
The great lesson here is simple. All you have to do is find and ask God for that a second of strength. You aren’t asking him to survive an ordeal. Just a blink. Move your foot from here to here. Get up out of the bed. Open the door. Ask the question. Take the first step.
And these tiny moments of action often then happen when no one is looking. In my case, they happen before dawn, when everyone else is sleeping and it’s just up to God and me.
You will find yourself in those same quiet starting lines too. Seize that first second and make it your own.
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – Luke 11:9 ESV
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” – James 1:23-25 ESV