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Celebrating Small Beginnings


Imagine a young, ambitious piano player dreams of performing before thousands in the world’s finest music halls. He envisions lifting his audiences to heights of auditory rapture as he romances the piano keys.

But, when he is asked to play at weddings or at the mall, he says, “Nah, I am going to be a great pianist. I play for thousands, not for shoppers at the mall or at weddings.” He turns down small opportunities God brings his way and fails to see that these offers are not inconsequential. They are bricks that will build the road to becoming a great pianist.

This young man needs to remember that most people don’t achieve the dreams God has placed in their heart overnight. For example. . .

•After his first screen test, the judges for Fred Astaire wrote, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”

•Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

•Bill Gates’ first business failed.

•Henry Ford’s first auto company went out of business.

•Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the light bulb—and my personal favorite

•Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers.

Zechariah 4:9 says, “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings.” 

The day of small beginnings happens for everyone—and it’s very good and necessary. It keeps us humble, dependent on God, and reminds us that we aren’t steering our own ship. It also prepares us internally while we wait for God to move externally.

I’m sharing about this topic because I have been reminded lately that expectations and goals are important. They help pull us into the future as we envision the road ahead. But they can also be an enemy if we don’t keep our expectations in perspective and if we don’t recognize that the small opportunities in front of us are very important. These opportunities may be as simple as sending an e-mail or responding to a phone call. The road to becoming who God has created us to be for Him is built brick by brick. If we “despise the day of small beginnings” and don’t take advantage of little opportunities, it’s guaranteed that we will never “play in the great hall.”

I have to admit, I am guilty. Lately, the Lord has been reminding me of all the little opportunities He is providing for me to serve Him. But because they aren’t what I selfishly envisioned, I have been slow to see them as important.

Several women I know in ministry have recently experienced this too. And, they have all wanted to give up because their plan hasn’t been unfolding as quickly or how they thought. For these reasons, they have believed God isn’t at work. They aren’t seeing every small opportunity as a brick on the path to the fulfillment of their God-given dream.

If this describes you, will you join me in being patiently persistent, hopeful, and faithful in the little things?

Shana Schutte

About the Author

Shana Schutte is a writer and Content and Web Manager for Blueprint for Life. Shana also has experience as an author and speaker. As former editor for Focus on the Family, she has written over 300 articles and has been published by Today’s Christian Woman, Focus on the Family’s flagship magazine, FamilyLife, Mission of Mercy, Clubhouse Jr., At the Center and Focus on the Family’s website, family.org and others. Additionally, she has produced a nationwide radio program which airs daily on over 400 Christian stations. http://blueprintforlife.com