Back in 2014 I begrudgingly announced in a blog that I was going to write a book. [I figured that if I put that out there then I was committed!] Well, five years later, START SMALL is published and on AMAZON! I have a small goal with my writing: I want to inspire this present generation to, once again, begin seeking His Kingdom, since my generation (and a few generations prior) have failed to do so.
Here is an excerpt of one of my chapters…I hope you enjoy:
Chapter Five: Start Small
Jesus often did, said, and suggested some pretty crazy things, and I have often wondered if He enjoyed raising the eyebrows of his onlookers and freaking out His listeners!
One of His most unconventional discourses took place on the day He sent out His twelve disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. All in a day’s work, right?
In this interaction, Jesus sounds like a tried-and-true army general shoring up his rather green soldiers. Yes, they were trained and ready, but Jesus was making this real.
The final instructions Jesus gives them for this particular mission put everything into perspective:
This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance.
The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing. Matthew 10:42 (MSG)
Seeking the Kingdom can be puzzling. However, giving a cup of cool water is not. It’s easy. It’s an attainable task. Even a green recruit could do that.
So, I did that.
A True Apprentice
July in Alabama is hot. Real hot. Like choosing to stay inside where it is air-conditioned hot.
I was looking out the window while washing dishes inside of my climate-controlled house when I saw a middle-aged, uniformed gentleman crossing my neighbor’s yard. I quickly concluded that he was not a thief, but likely a meter reader. God highlighted him to me and the thought came, “Take a cup of cool water to him.”
I didn’t hesitate. This was doable. I shook the bubbles off of my hands. I ran to the fridge and grabbed a bottled water before heading out the door. He was, indeed, the meter man and he was crossing the street into my yard. I also noticed he was dripping sweat. Prime!
I slowed my eager pace down a bit so as not to scare him. “Sure is a hot day, isn’t it?” I casually asked.
He responded with a slight smile and a nod.
I held out the water to him. “Would you like some water? I want to give it to you in Jesus’ name.” Dang. That sounded so religious. The words felt wrong even as they came rushing very unnaturally out of my mouth. I should have left off the last part.
He took the cool water with a “thank you.” I smiled, turned and hightailed it back into my house.
Handing someone a cup of cool water was more dicey than I had anticipated. Yes, the task was easy, but I made it religious. I felt stupid.
However, I had done it. The door was open. I was a true apprentice who really had a lot to learn. I would not turn back.
The Kingdom is expansive and eternal. It is practical. It is not religious. It is not limited by space nor time. God invites us to partner with Him in it through the means of seeking it first.
It truly is best to simply start small.
by Karen S. Dilbeck