Choir Notes

Just Begin!
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4360

For many years, a husband and wife had been gathering branches that fell from the trees on their heavily wooded lot. One by one they stacked the branches in a pile next to the creek in their backyard. As time went on, the mound grew into a mountain of wood, and they finally determined they had better move it to the street where it could be picked up and disposed of properly.

They soon found that this task would be more difficult than they thought. First they tried to push and pull the pile toward the curb. Then they tried wrapping it in chains and dragging it. They tried to put a plank underneath it and slide it, but the huge pile would not budge. At last, a simple but profound idea struck them: they would need to carry the pile one branch, one limb, one piece of wood at a time. Over the course of several days, they moved the pile.

We’ve all had similar experiences when a problem, a project, or a challenge felt almost impossible, too large and difficult for our limited time, resources, and capacity. We may have felt frozen by fear, paralyzed by indecision—by not knowing where or how to proceed. And then we discovered the only way to proceed was simply to begin. Just begin! It has been said that the deed is half done once we have made a beginning. So we do what we can, no matter how small it seems.

It certainly requires faith, but that’s the way challenges that seem insurmountable have always been overcome. Remember the children of Israel: after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, they faced one final obstacle before entering the promised land—the River Jordan, overflowing its banks. The Lord parted the river, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground, but only after they showed enough faith to step into the water.1

When we feel overwhelmed, when the task ahead seems too great, we may just need to start by getting our feet wet! Step by step, little by little, great things will begin to happen. The Lord will bless our efforts and magnify our abilities, but we must first begin!

See Joshua 3:14–17.

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