If you have ever wondered whether or not the everyday things you do actually matter, they do.
Jeff Olson expands on this statement in his seminal book, the Slight Edge. If you’re facing a big problem, or a long journey to a destination read this book. Just do it.
In chapter 7 Jeff writes,
You are constantly creating a ripple effect by the way you affect your environment. It can be a positive ripple or a negative ripple. The choice is always yours.
The truth is, we don’t always know what the long-term effects of our actions are. But your thinking is what creates your habits and they make the difference. Those daily habits are The Slight Edge! Small actions, compounded over time with the right attitude are what creates your life!
The Slight Edge is the set of daily decisions that do not seem to make a big difference. The two paths are imperceptible from each other for most of the journey but turn sharply to the positive or negative near the end. Everyone is either on the upward path or the downward path. If you’re not actively choosing the positive, you are on the negative path. The good news is that anyone, at any time, can choose to switch paths. This doesn’t change situation or make things immediately different, but a consistent approach will produce results!
Remember when you learned to walk. Ok, imagine what it was like when you were learning to walk.
Grab the table leg.
Raise yourself up.
Reach out for the wall, a foot away.
Tentatively take a step, and – Crash!
Onto the floor.
Crawl to the couch.
Hoist your little body up again.
Take a small step towards the coffee table.
But the story doesn’t end there. If not immediately again, maybe later that day, you got up, tried again, and… fell down again. Yet you tried again. And again. Until, finally, you were walking.
The Slight Edge means that you keep making the right decision, regardless of success until you see the result. When you decided to walk, you had it. It was just a matter of time until your walking skills caught up to your mind!
Sometimes that principle of small actions to big results is the difference between life and death.
I had the chance yesterday (Wednesday, March 12) to take an hour and pray with a group of others from my Church next door to an abortion clinic in our city. Talking with the sidewalk counselor we learned of a joyous story. A story of life.
That day, this is yesterday mind you, a young woman came to the clinic with her mother. Their intent was to “take care of a problem.” We don’t know their background, and it doesn’t matter. What we do know is that two paths intersected. This young woman was on the downside of the slight edge. And today she faced the point where the paths diverged dramatically. Sherri, the sidewalk counselor was also on the slight edge. She, uplifted by the prayers of many intercessors, comes week after week to stand near the abortion clinic and offer hope to the young mothers going into the clinic. Sherri reached out to this young lady yesterday. Somehow, (I know it was the Holy Spirit) what she said made sense to this young woman enough to take the information and stop to talk. As they spoke, the young mother began to realize the drastic implications of the slight edge path she was on. And by the grace of God, she chose to not go through with the abortion! She chose right then to step off the downward path and back onto the upward path. It can happen at anytime. Thankfully, this mom chose to switch paths right before the path banked sharply. But again, it is never too late to choose the right path.
Our prayer time was joyous when we heard that this child was saved. We don’t know what kind of person they will grow up to be. But we do know this is true about them:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
That child is created by God to create their own ripples. They’ll have an effect, and it will be dictated by the daily choices that they make. That child could be an entrepreneur, a pastor, a teacher, a CEO, an inventor. We don’t know, but we do know that when that mother chose life, she got on the right path.
What path are you on?
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