The Grace to Start


I don’t know how many gazillion years ago it was because when this incident occurred. You see, God created time, but He is timeless. He doesn’t exist in time, because He is eternal. He has no beginning nor does He have an end. So we can’t put Him in the frame of time, no! See one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. He cannot fit in time.

So no, I don’t know how long ago it was when God hollered at His boy (Jesus) and Holy Spirit and said “Hey guys! Let us make man…!”. He must have been chilling out somewhere, again, I don’t know exactly where it was. Those words, to me, are some of the most powerful words to have ever been spoken by God. You see, by those words, God started something. Hang on, He, the creator of the universe and Lord of everything STARTED!

It is this that I want to talk about today: the grace to start.

Starting is the most underestimated thing in our time. We talk, a lot about finishing. There are enough sermons and motivational speeches on finishing. I have severally heard my generation being admonished about not completing tasks and mostly, not driving projects into completion. The bible itself would dictate that “the end of a matter is better than the beginning thereof.” We are not devoid of word on finishing. Do not misconstrue what I have said though. Finishing is big! I believe in it, I preach it; I push for it and I strive to finish in my own personal space.

But then finishing cannot happen without us starting.

Do you know, that if God had not started the creation of man, we wouldn’t exist? It is often said that the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. This is recognition of the significance of starting. We have to start somewhere. Regardless of how far we want to go, or how big we want to become in the future, we all have to start.

Majority of us today have many things that we have envisioned. Many of us have drawn up business plans and saved up capital to start the business. Many people collect application forms to enroll for higher education, others have for years thought of settling down, some have wanted to buy this or that asset, or even travel but majority are plagued by one thing: The failure to start.

See, it doesn’t matter how grandiose our vision might be, if we do not start, it remains as such; a vision. I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, that most of us have no business talking about finishing because we never started in the first place!

Why do we not start? Some of us are afraid that we will fail when we start. There are those that wait to get all the resources they need before they can start. Some of us do not think that we have enough skill or courage to start what we envision. A large number belittle ourselves and think that we are not worthy carriers of the vision that God put in us. Either way, we all fail at the first hurdle. We fail to start.

I’d like to throw a few thoughts at you to help you to find the grace to start. Firstly, please understand that anything that is today had a starting point. The heavens and earth were created, man was created, cars, companies, even nations were started. Everything, other than God, which exists, had a start date. The only reason why we see the end more than the beginning is because the end is more visible and elaborate than the beginning. A skyscraper is more visible than its foundation. Just because you can’t see the foundation doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or that it is less important. There would be no skyscraper without the foundation.

Secondly, everything that ever became big, significant or important often times started as a small, insignificant thing or even idea. Big trees come from trifling seeds. The bane of our generation is the obsession we have with big things. We want the big job, the big car, the big house et cetera without realizing that even those that have those things once drove a small car, had a small job, lived in a small house or didn’t even have these things. Most times, starting means obscurity. However, just because you start small today doesn’t mean that you are forever going to be small.

Thirdly, my generation needs to understand that it takes time to become. I find that, it is not that we do not know how to finish really, sometimes, it is that we do not want to put in the work during the initial stages of starting. Starting is dirty, it is tedious, and it is not glamorous. My generation doesn’t like dirt. We don’t like to get tired and we certainly don’t enjoy drab. We are “the soft life” generation. We are willing to do it until our grit is tested. Then we cower and give up.

I once read about the Chinese Bamboo Tree. When the seed is planted, it doesn’t break through the ground for five years. In these five years, the farmer has to water and fertilize the ground in which it is planted everyday. He will do this for a whole five years without seeing the fruit of his labour. He will be consistent and not give up on the seed. But here’s the thing, once the seed breaks through the ground, it grows to an astonishing ninety feet in five weeks. Imagine that! Majority of us start and give up too soon because we do not see visible results immediately. We do not trust the wisdom of time. Just because you cannot see the Chinese Bamboo tree after two months, doesn’t mean that it is not growing. The same applies to us when we start. The fact that you don’t see results in the initial stages doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. I encourage you to continue putting in the work even when you don’t see visible results. In the right time, your efforts will bear fruit. I love what scripture says in Isaiah 60:22, “when the time is ready, I will make it happen.” Trust the wisdom of time, better yet, trust God’s timing, He never fails.

The fourth thing to do is to see the end from the beginning. Because starting can be discouraging and difficult, it is important for us to envision what we are working towards. That is why the good book admonishes us to “write the vision down.” Putting it down on paper helps us to see the end as we beginning. How does this help? It builds hope and anticipation. It helps you to have something to look forward to. It also helps you to know how far you have come and how far you have left before you can accomplish the vision.

The fifth thing you need to do, as you start, is to make sure that you walk in good company. Starting and remaining focused on what you have started is hard, ensure to have people around you who are headed the same direction as you are. While in pursuit of purpose, avoid taking constructive criticism from people who have never build anything. Most people criticize what they do not understand and it is easier to tear down than it is to build up. Find people who understand what you are doing, they will encourage and guide you to go where you need to go. Most people didn’t fail because they were meant to fail, most people failed because they had the wrong constituency around them.

Lastly, I pray for you that you overcome the fear of failure as you start. We are so often plagued by the fear of failure that we become nonstarters. Former US President Barak Obama said that some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who have had the most failures. He says that you cannot let failure define you; you have to let your failures teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently the next time. In the words of, King Solomon, the wisest man to ever walk the face of the earth “…a righteous man may fall seven times, and rise again.” Don’t let the fear of failure hinder you from starting.

I pray that you’d find the grace to start all those things that you’ve put on hold. Go back to school, join a gym, start eating healthy, begin that business, start writing that book, holla at that girl, start building that house… whatever it is, just start. May you have a “Let us” moment and as you start, may God give you the grace to build, grow, become and finish.

  1. Tons of actionable lessons therein!

    I am vividly reminded of a book entitled ‘7 habits of a highly effective people ‘ by Stephen of the habit is ‘start with an end in mind’. This is elucidated as knowing where you are to make a coordinated strategic step toward the desired end.

    Talking of failing when you start, Abraham Lincoln had a story to tell, he did so many times but what kept him afloat was the believability on self and growing thick skin from naysayers.

    What a piece!👌

  2. Great read, this! “…it is not that we do not know how to finish really, sometimes, it is that we do not want to put in the work during the initial stages of starting. Starting is dirty, it is tedious, and it is not glamorous.” Never has a truer word been spoken! We must realize however, that there’s great reward in the work we put in at the beginning- the effort, resilience, commitment, etc., always pay off. Thanks for this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.