Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight
(Proverbs 3:5-6 TNIV).

Progress and positive change takes time. Maybe you've been there. Maybe you are there. You are convicted that a change needs to occur and you take the initial steps that produce a sense of exhilaration about what lies ahead, then progress slows. You begin to feel frustrated, you get impatient, and before long you begin to question the need for change.

When that happens, here's a simple principle that might be helpful. Remember: A small step is still a step.

Here's what I mean.

You know you need to lose weight. Notice that some of your clothes are a bit snug, but assume the clothes were left in the dryer too long. Then, you are looking through a box of old family photos and you ask, "Who is that?" Your wife says, "It's you." Then, to make matters worse your doctor gently reminds you, "You gotta lose some weight!" You agree and confidently say, "I'm going to do it!" You set your goal. You buy new exercise clothes and shoes. You pick a place and a time and start running. You run about half a block when you realize that you are out of breath and ever muscle in your body hurts. You think you are going to die right there. You question your sanity. You want to quit. Please don't. Remember: A small step is still a step.

You and your spouse are not getting along. In fact, you both admit that you cannot remember the last time you were happy. In the heat of an argument one of you uses the word divorce. It scares you both. You agree to see a counselor. You tell your story to the counselor and she lays out a plan to improve your relationship to save your marriage. You both agree and commit to do the hard work. The first week goes well, but about midway in the second week you have another argument. "We're right back where we started!" You both get so discouraged that you wonder if there is any hope. There is. Remember: A small step is still a step.

You decide the best thing for your career is to go back to school and finish your education. You get the catalog. You apply. You are accepted. You buy your books. You begin going to class. Then, everything piles up on you. Going to school and holding down a full-time job is too much! You feel like you are getting behind and losing ground. In the middle of another late night of studies you say to yourself, "What in the world am I doing?" You doubt whether you'll ever finish. You think about dropping out. Please don't. Remember: A small step is still a step.

Someone you love has passed away. The holidays are approaching. You are not sure what you are supposed to feel. You are not sure what you are supposed to do. All that you know is that there is an ache in your soul that will not go away. Nothing you do makes the pain any less. You pray for strength, you get out of bed and somehow you make it through the day. The next day you do it again. Remember: A small step is still a step.

A small step is still a step.
You decide to learn to play a musical instrument. You buy the instrument. You take a lesson or two. You set aside time for practice. You work hard for several weeks, but then you begin to feel like you are not making any progress, so you set it aside and try to forget about. Please don't quit. Remember: A small step is still a step.

A group of spiritual searchers agree that something has to change. One more Sunday of the same old stuff is not acceptable. Dreams of what could be are shared. Plans are made. Decisions are made. Then, the opposition strikes. Criticism escalates. You wonder if this really is what the Lord wants. You entertain the thought of going back to the way it was. Please don't. Remember: A small step is still a step.

Everything we do begins with one small step. The idea. Sharing the dream. Walking around the block. A baby learns to walk by taking a small step. We learn to ride a bike with a small step. Businesses are built because someone took a small step. Ordinary athletes become great athletes by taking a small step. Addictions are conquered by one small step at a time. Churches develop great ministries by taking a small step. Couples celebrate anniversaries because they take small steps that turn into years. Remember: A small step is still a step.

When Jesus was beginning His ministry and preparing for the coming of the Kingdom, He selected a small group of men and challenged them to take one step: "Follow me." They did. The world was changed. Our faith walk begins with a step of faith: "I believe." We are not sure what all is involved or what it means, but we are willing to take the small step in faith. Without that small step, nothing changes.

Are you facing a crossroad in your life? Are you wondering if the dream you have is possible, if it is worth the effort, if you even want to continue the pursuit? Are you wanting to see change, but it's happening too slow? Remember: A small step is still a step.

Remember: A small step is still a step. Don't give up. Take the small step.