To See The Work Begin
On the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, I am an ENFJ, and I have to agree it describes me pretty spot on! An ENFJ is described best as a “people person.” We are extroverted, we enjoy encouraging others, and we tend to be enthusiastic about almost all things, we get joy out of helping, and we are always ready for conversation and the chance to turn a stranger into a friend. BUT on the flip side, we spend most of our time thinking about the future and we forget about the present. We become focused on the end goal and lose sight of the small stuff. The little day-to-day details quickly become insignificant and boring.
All of those things are very true, especially my tendency to look right past the small stuff and focus on and dream about the future, the BIG, successful end goal.
Because of my big picture thinking, it was quite a challenge to make myself sit down and begin working on the small steps that were necessary to SHE WEARS WORTH. I had the idea for a while, but when I finally came up with the name the fireworks in my mind started. I instantly saw the future of SHE WEARS WORTH. I sat in my hotel bed writing down idea, after idea, and dream after dream. Hours and a few cups of coffee later, I had this grand plan for an international charity organization, that would reach millions of girls and women. It would find its way into high schools, youth programs, sorority houses, women’s shelters, foster homes, etc. We would have ambassadors in both the US and Canada. We’d start a clothing line. I had a dream that Kathie Lee and Hoda had me on their show to talk about the charity and to promote hosting a SHE WEARS WORTH donation event. (yes, that happened, I remember the dream vividly.)
I woke up the next morning and was so excited. I didn’t think any of it was crazy. Nope, I was all about those big goals, I was determined to make them happen.
Then, months came and went; fall, winter, spring, and summer were quickly approaching, yet I had done nothing to get the ball rolling. I talked and thought about it all the time. I had all these outlines, weekly goals, and to-do lists, yet none of it was getting done. I would sit down day after day to begin and get nowhere. It made no sense to me. Why would God give me this idea and passion, then leave me high and dry? I would try to write, research, or begin designing the website and my mind would go blank. I’d get annoyed and give up. Then nighttime would roll around and I’d be lying there, sleepless. I couldn’t stop envisioning the finished website, the donation parties happening all over, and the girls and women I’d get to interact with and minister to.
Why didn’t I have this enthusiasm and focus a few hours earlier in the day? Why was I finding it so easy and exciting to think about the big picture? Why was I encouraged by the idea of running a huge organization but completely terrified at the thought of writing down my testimony? Why was I getting so easily annoyed with little things like the website design, but came to life when I talked to friends about hosting an event?
Then I realized, I was putting my value on the wrong things. Being a true ENFJ, I only saw significance in the big picture and the future of SHE WEARS WORTH, not the small day-to-day details. I placed the value of SHE WEARS WORTH in the results I could produce — the people helped, the clothes donated, the Instagram followers, the overall impact, etc. The day-to-day tasks were mundane and insignificant. The thought of having to reign my imagination back in, to get down and focused on the day-to-day details was not fun. I was terrified to take the first steps.
I knew I needed to adjust my thinking from being “business-minded” to “Kingdom-minded” and start seeing the importance of the small things. I went for a run to help clear my mind, and while listening to an episode from the podcast, “The Devoted Dreamers” by Merritt Onsa, a verse was mentioned that I needed to hear!
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begun.”
(Zachariah 4:10 NLT)
Hmmm, Interesting… loving the small beginnings…. Being excited to see the work begin? It sounds like the opposite of my thinking.
As a Christ-follower, I believe that God created the universe. God is supreme to all things. He knows everything about everything. Needless to say, God has a whole lot going on, so if He notices, rejoices, and sees value in the small steps, the beginnings, the day-to-day tasks, then why shouldn’t I value and rejoice in them also?
Initially, this verse stumped me, confused me, and then it challenged me. It was not the way my mind worked. It was not how I measured success for the past almost 30 years. You rejoiced and celebrated when the job was done. When you closed the business deal when you hit your quarterly goals when you beat all the other teams when you were the BEST. That was when you rejoiced.
We live in a culture where success is measured by one thing, OUR RESULTS — our income, the size of our houses or cars we drive, our Instagram followers, social media impressions, job titles, the “likes" we receive, our friend groups, the type of clothes or brands we wear BUT that is not the way He sees it. He does not measure our success by our results, but rather by our obedience.
Let’s look at that again:
He does not measure our success by our results, but rather by our obedience!
HE is not focused on the results, how successful you are or are not, but on your obedience. Your desire to do what you are called to do, to listen, to have faith, to believe that He’s got you.
That my friends should be SUCH a relief! No matter what you may think, or what society tells us, there is beauty, significance, and accomplishment in the small things, the FIRST STEPS, regardless of how they turn out.
Now, after lots of time thinking and unpacking that verse, I read it and find peace, reassurance, and a promise that I don’t need to be or do anything spectacular to be counted as a success. Being obedient and diligent in small things is cause for excitement and rejoicing! I now look to these day-to-day, small tasks not as mundane or annoying, but necessary and encouraging. Each one is deserving of a little celebration, a silent “oh heck-yes,” and a high-five to me!
Think about how incredible, celebrated, and impactful that first step on the moon was. That small step went down in history, it changed America and the world! It was and still is celebrated! Now I want you to imagine yourself and think about whatever it is you are being called to do or challenged with but you haven’t found the courage or time or reason to begin. If HE is calling you to do it, HE is going to celebrate that first step, that little leap, your obedience as if you took that first step on the moon!
So now, my challenge to you.
What have you labeled as the small, insignificant, ‘not worthy of your time’ things in your life?
Why have you categorized them as such?
Are you like me and you avoid them because deep down you are terrified of them?
Is it because you are too busy and you don’t have time?
Or maybe you’re in a season where your life is full of only small, repetitive tasks. To you, your days seem pointless and you feel invisible.
Whatever it is;
putting the time and attention to a dream you have,
picking up the phone and calling an old friend,
clicking off the TV and going for a run,
dusting off your bible,
maybe it’s deciding not to have that 3rd, 4th, or 5th drink on Friday night.
Maybe you’re a full-time mom and your days consist of diaper change after diaper change.
Whatever thing it is, however small or insignificant you may believe it is, knows that if it helps you become more holy, happy, or healthy and is “kingdom-minded,” there IS beauty and power in it.
You should rejoice in the small things because He is!
He delights in seeing the work begin! And you should too!
I now know, believe and find so much confidence and assurance in this promise because even if no one reads this or shares it or “likes” it, it is wildly successful. It is successful because I was obedient to what was put on my heart, I took the step in faith and I did something, as insignificant as it may seem in the grand scheme of things, to help grow His Kingdom.
This week, and every week after, I pray you to find encouragement and comfort in this verse.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begun”
Take all those small things, the first steps, the mundane details of your life and realize their importance. Find the courage to start them. Complete them with zeal, excitement, and passion. Recognize what you accomplished because no matter how small, a step in HIS direction is a glorious step!