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  • Toni Wilbarger

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

Updated: May 3


"A very good place to start." So begins the song "Do-Re-Mi" written by Richard Rodgers and featured in the movie The Sound of Music. I've been thinking a lot lately about beginnings or, more to the point, starting things. I don't know about you, but ever since this pandemic came upon us, I seem to be having trouble engaging my brain. It's easier to kill time binge-watching a TV series or streaming some of my favorite movies than facing the outside world and the news of the day. But that's a blog post for another day.


I scared myself yesterday when I decided to write another blog post and found I had NOTHING TO WRITE ABOUT. Seems every idea has already been covered by someone else. I have nothing new to add, I told myself. I continued berating myself with thoughts like, "Your life is a mess; who are you to tell anyone anything?"


Time for true confessions. Feeling inadequate seems to be my constant companion. And this is often accompanied by the thought, "Why bother? Whatever you come up with will never be as good as hers."


What do you do when you're stuck? When you can't get going on a project, a chore, or a brand new thing you'd like to try? Many people suggest that we just start. Do something-- anything-- that will get you moving in the right direction. A Chinese proverb by Lao Tzu came to mind, the one that says, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." However, just a small amount of research showed that besides being an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, Lao Tzu also was the founder of a religion called Taoism that emphasized achieving perfection by becoming one with the universe. Some followers of Taoism consider him to be a god.


So maybe we shouldn't follow his advice.


But even as Christians we hear quite often that we need to step out in faith. In other words, take that first step. But what if you simply can't? That's how I found myself every day this past week. I had nothing to offer. So I watched more TV. Repented to God and repeated the cycle the next day. Until today.


At church this morning, we were reminded to listen to the voice of God and follow Him. To get quiet, turn down the noise (TV!), and connect to God in His word, the Bible. To pray and to listen. And I realized that burying my attention in a constant diet of emotional junk food like TV caused me to be cut off from God. He is where our ideas should come from. If we cut ourselves off from Him, how will we ever know how to begin?


And then I remembered Philippians 1:6 where it says that Jesus began a good work in us. "I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ." (NRSV)

Did you catch that? Where good ol' Lao Tzu said we need to take that first step to start on our journey, God says that Jesus has begun a good work in us. He's already started working. All we need to do is to follow Him.


And that, friends, is how this post came to be.





Until next time,


Toni

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