In praise of small steps


This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. The launch was on July 16, 1969, the walk on the moon was July 20, and the crew returned to earth July 24. What a week for the three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. What a colossal achievement for the United States when you consider that it took 400,000 people working together to make that mission such a success.

When he became the first person to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Wearing a space suit that was inflated like a football, Neil Armstrong did indeed take a very small step in one sense. But in a far more important way this moonwalk did indeed represent a giant leap. 

Recalling Armstrong’s statement reminds us of the extreme importance of small steps. One small step can be a giant step — for our family, for our church, for our community. Great outcomes are the result of a long series of small steps taken deliberately and faithfully. And when 400,000 people each take a small step, the result is a giant leap far beyond what anyone could have achieved on their own.

Do not take lightly the small steps that each of us can take: a phone call, a visit, a letter, a prayer, a gift, an apology, an invitation. Jesus himself is our best teacher. Every ordinary day and in every ordinary place Jesus took the kind of small steps that turned out to be giant leaps for the Kingdom of God. He taught his followers to transform the world one step at a time.

If you could take one small step today, what would it be? 

Alive Together in Witness,

R. Lawson Bryan