“Do not despise small beginnings, for God rejoices to see
the work begin.” – Zechariah 4:10
Whenever starting something new in life, from yoga to a new job, it is easy to become frustrated with how hard or slow the process seems to move. In Jon Acuff’s book, START: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters, he talks about what it takes to become someone who is exceptional at their craft—10,000 practice hours is a part of the magic equation. That is a lot of time.
In Zechariah, the Angel of the Lord is speaking to a man called Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was one of the Israelite’s who lived in Babylonian captivity for 70 years. Around 538 B.C., while Cyrus was King, Zerubbabel was the appointed Governor of Judah. He was the first to lead a group back into Israel. In Zerubbabel’s second year back, he built an alter to the Lord, as well as laid a new foundation for the Temple of the Lord that had been destroyed by the Babylonians.
In Zechariah 4, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in what seemed like a dream. Since everything recorded in the Bible is for a purpose, I wonder if Zerubbabel was feeling like progress was moving too slowly. Or maybe he felt like there was too much to do, and not enough qualified help to pull it off—himself included—for some reason, a conversation took place between the Angel of the Lord and Zerubbabel. And the conversation was important enough that it was recorded for us to read and study today.
Picking up something new is hard, especially when we have in mind exactly how we believe everything should fall into place. Not only do we struggle with the unfamiliarity of something new, but we also tend to battle our own insecurities.
When ever you step onto your yoga mat to practice, I invite you let go of your expectations of how you think your day and your yoga practice should look and feel. Begin each practice with leaving the rest of your life off your mat. This is a way to begin to teach your mind and heart the freedom of surrender. A small beginning, but a powerful one.
In Zechariah 4, just a few verses earlier, Jerubbabel hears the Lord of Hosts tell him, “Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord.” We aren’t given the privilege of life so we can live with the constant struggle of trying to figure everything out. God knew before time what our choices would be, when we would hit walls and roadblocks. He truly does have the best plan (2 Thessolonians 5:24). However, learning let go of our expectations is difficult. So, every time you unroll your yoga mat, remind yourself of the freedom that can happen with small beginnings.