Writing over at The Glorious Table about the value of starting slowly when it comes to new habits or difficult environments. Also, truly enjoyed this opportunity to share one of my all-time favorite memories with my Mom. Read on for a preview below or link to the full post here.
When I was fifteen years old, I received a rather unconventional—not to mention memorable—driving lesson from my mom. That winter, we’d had a stretch of bad weather, and everything was covered in snow and ice. But after the main roads were cleared, Mom drove me up to our local high school parking lot. Because I went to a really big high school, the parking lot was also really big. Even so, for a fifteen-year-old who had only been driving on a permit for a few months, it still seemed a bit intimidating.
Once we arrived, she stopped somewhere in the middle, and we crunched our way around the car to switch seats. Once I was in the driver’s seat, she told me I was going to spend some time in this environment to learn how to drive safely in winter weather.
Um, OK, Mom. Let’s be reckless on purpose. What could possibly happen?
Well, as much as it may seem like I am building up to some disastrous scene, this whole adventure was an absolute blast for me and a big parenting victory for Mom. I didn’t crash into any of the light poles, the outer walls of my high school remained unscathed, and not a single scratch or dent ended up on the vehicle. Instead, what I gained were memories of laughing and hollering with her as she taught me how to get a donut started and how to straighten it out, how to build up enough speed to skid and then allow the car to slow down without slamming on the brakes, and how to do a “slick check” after starting, rather than assuming I knew what the conditions would be. I took away valuable information from that one unconventional day of training with my mom.
I share all of this to say that while a donut or skid is certainly possible while driving in the snow, one of the most important lessons I learned that day was not about stopping. It was about starting. It’s the awareness that getting going is sometimes the hardest part when conditions are difficult. And while this is true of cars, it can also be true of people. The way we start can determine how, or even if, we get going at all.
Why Starting Slowly Is Sometimes the Best Way Forward
In this first part of the year, so many of us put our minds (and efforts) toward starting anew. Maybe it’s a health goal or a financial one. Maybe we’ve started a new reading habit or prayer routine. Regardless, whatever you’ve started, you may have found that when you’re making a difficult change, starting out quickly doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere. Instead, you just feel like you’re spinning your wheels. What gives?
I don’t mean to over-spiritualize the beginnings of change. And yet, so many of the difficult changes God brought about in Scripture were not instant. They were gradual. They were realized after years of people waiting and being faithful. And, maybe, the most important realization is that this was purposeful. God did not ignore the pleas of his people to “hurry up” because he’s mean, busy, or dismissive. He allows things to take time, sometimes a long time, because he knows it’s in the waiting, in the patience, in the perseverance, that we truly grow.
To finish the full post link here.