I have a love-hate relationship with this phrase : Don’t despise the days of small beginnings.
Here is the part I love: Small beginnings can have big endings. You know, the whole thing about a small acorn holding within it a big oak tree.
Here is the part I hate: What happens when the “beginning” was ten years ago?
What if we are in the middle and it is still small? No resources, no recognition and no growth at the beginning is expected. Things take time…but eventually time passes and we can’t really say we are in the beginning anymore.
Nope, we are smack in the middle now. Some of us still find ourselves with no resources, no recognition and no growth. I’m gonna be honest here.
I despise the days of small middles.
It’s just not fair.
Maybe you dream of being a photographer and started taking pictures a few years ago as a side gig until you had enough business to do it full time. Now, its five years later, you are still taking pictures and working that second job because the photo business isn’t growing the way you hoped.
Perhaps your marriage and family life started out rocky. You poured your time and energy into improving it. Years later, here you are. Still struggling with the same hurdles.
That vintage resale business you launched on Instagram last year has made you a total of $50 over the course of 12 months. Why is there so little to show for your passion and hard work?
As if our small middle wasn’t bad enough, there always seems to be someone who started after we did that has already passed us up. The blogger who got a book deal after a year, the pastor who grew his church to thousands in no time flat, and the entreprenur who seems to know exactly which houses to flip.
Then comes the dread.
Am I not as gifted as I thought? Did I miss my calling? Do people see me as a failure? Why is everyone else gaining ground and I can’t get traction to save my life?
Fear and insecurity come in to rob any hope we have left.
Yeah, maybe some people are pursuing the wrong thing. I could work 24 hours a day to become a great singer, but that ship will never sail. Chasing the wrong dream may be some people’s problem, but I think it is more the exception than the rule.
So, why shouldn’t we be discouraged by our small middles?
No matter how much planning we have done or how visionary we are, we don’t see the entire picture. Our lives are always part of something bigger than we know.
I’ll be honest with you – I am smack in the middle of small middles in so many areas. It is painful, frustrating and down-right embarrassing sometimes. The other day I was feeling particularly annoyed at my little middle when I remembered one of my favorite Bible verses:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
The plans for my life are beyond what I am aware of. Maybe what I am creating goes deeper than I knew it could and roots take time to grow in order to support great things eventually. Or perhaps the things that are being produced aren’t as obvious as my measuring tools would like.
To all of you reading who are in the middle of a small and unimpressive middle – I see you and I get it.
I see the dreams that are waiting to come out and the vision just itching to be lived. The desperate hope that you will be able to pull it off and become something grander that you are now. The deep belief that somehow you are more than meets the eye at the moment.
You are far more than can be seen right now. Don’t worry if there isn’t much to show yet. Things are happening – going deeper and broader than you are aware. The intangibles might be weaving themselves together behind the scenes. In 20 years you may look back and realize that this – this seemingly small middle – was actually where the most growth happened.
This is where you chose to dig in your heels and believe that you were made for something bigger.
Because you are.
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