“If you focus on the size of the mountain, you’ll quit before you start. The marathon monks can’t see all the way around the mountain. So . . . they focus one hundred feet in front of themselves, and they keep putting one foot in front of the other. They are plodders, par excellence!”- Mark Batterson
“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”- Matthew 17:20 (NIV)
Mark Batterson concludes Day 5 of Do It for a Day as he reminds us of the two dimensions of habit formation he previously introduced. The two – harder is better and slower is faster. Now Mark adds one more to the mix: smaller is bigger.
Although a mustard seed measures two millimeters in diameter, it grows into a nine-foot tree. Furthermore, the seed contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, E, and K. Also, the seed has anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, while we plant and water, God gives the increase. Because nothing is too big or too small for God. Therefore, Mark exhorts:
“Don’t despise the day of small beginnings! Just as God’s power is made perfect in weakness, His sovereignty is revealed in our smallness. . . . Quit worrying about outcomes, and keep planting mustard seeds of faith.”
In conclusion, Pastor Batterson notes, Benjamin Franklin constantly pursued self-improvement. As a result, Franklin identified thirteen virtues he desired to cultivate. Consequently, he developed a ‘habit journal’ to measure and maintain those virtues.
However, as Franklin admitted, he failed to perfect any of those thirteen virtues. Instead, he fell far short. Yet, Franklin said:
“Yet I was, by the endeavor, a better and happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”
So, Mark encourages you, take inventory of whatever habit you’re trying to make or break. When you create a feedback loop, you keep at it one day at a time. As you circle the mountain.
Today’s quest: What Bible verses help you take your focus off the size of the mountain? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Physical posture – a powerful prompt”