Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)
TITLE: A Journey of a Thousand Miles .. Ta da!
By Carolyn Ancell
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Bobo is the bear in the faith-based comic strip created by Tom Spurgeon and Dan Wright called WILDWOOD. In one strip, Bobo stands on his hind legs, looking down at his toes, and says to himself, "Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." He steps forward on his right foot, brings his left up to it, lifts his front paws high in the air, and jubilantly shouts, "Ta da!"
Let's say your dream is to learn Spanish. You can get a Spanish-English dictionary, and learn one word -- just one -- each day. At the end of a year, you will know 365 words. Ta da!
Let's say you would like to lose a little weight. You could decide that the first step toward that goal is to not eat your usual cookie-before-bed at night. The first morning you wake up after no-cookie-the-night-before, you might feel a small but significant Ta da! The 10th, 100th, and 365th time you wake up after no-cookie-the-night-before will certainly be cause for a great TA DA!
Let's say you have an idea for an article or a book. So many words. How will you wrap your mind around them all? The article you are now reading began with a single word. It required the author to sit down with pen and paper, and try out possibilities, over and over again. Ta da!
A challenging piece on a musical instrument will require you to practice it. Over and over again, perhaps for a long time. But eventually ... Ta da!
Let's say you would like to learn to "pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:7, Ephesians 6:18). The anonymous writer of the Christian classic, THE WAY OF THE PILGRIM, explains one way to tackle that hope is by praying the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me," not once, but over and over again, continuously, until it becomes an uninterrupted call on the name of the Lord, a plea for his presence and blessing at every moment, even in sleep.
At first, you might be easily distracted from calling on the name of Jesus, even tempted to give up this repeated cry of faith. But if you will just begin. And then begin again, and again, one day you will awake with the name of Jesus on your lips, and the knowledge that your heart has been praying without pause through the night. Deo gratias! TA DA!
A journey -- be it to learn a language, lose a few pounds, or draw closer to God -- begins with a single step. Take that step now.
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