Incredible things are done, one small step at a time.

When we stay committed to the small things, they add up to impact beyond measure. Take, for example, author and blogger Tim Challies.

On October 31, 2003, he committed to writing a blog post every day for one year. He has now written more than seven thousand of them. When explaining his blogging story, he wrote,

October 31, 2003, was a pivotal day. I decided that day that I should get serious about this blogging thing and committed to either blogging every day for a year or giving up and getting rid of the site altogether. So I wrote an article on November 1, November 2, and November 3 … and before I knew it, it was a year later, and I was still going. I recommitted in 2004, 2005, 2006. That was over three years ago, and I’m still blogging every day and look forward to doing so almost every day.[1]

When I read this, I turned to my wife and said, “Tim Challies has blogged every day for years; I am not sure I do anything every day with that kind of consistency, even accidentally or naturally. I admire his commitment so much.”

Tim inspires me to write. His example proves we can pair passion with discipline and achieve great results.

Writing is something I love … most days. I would even go as far as to say I feel called to it. This passion burns within me—but passion without discipline will not lead to results.

Writing is not something that comes naturally to me, and no amount of passion for it will simply make me better at it. I must be disciplined to work on it regularly.

Truth be told, I never received anything higher than a D in English in high school or college. I always loved my English classes the most, but they did not love me back. I’ve struggled to write my entire life, yet it seems part of God’s calling for me. I can’t escape it.

God has a way of calling us to do things we are not good at. For example:

  • Moses had a stutter, yet he was called to speak to multitudes—including the most powerful ruler in the known world.
  • Paul had a “thorn in the flesh,” yet, he was called to build God’s Church.
  • King David had a problem with misguided passion, yet, God still considered him a man after His own heart.

Regarding my story, I don’t understand why God would use a poor writer to blog for over a decade, publish six books, and write thousands of words every week for my sermons, but He has. God doesn’t do many things that make sense to me, and I have grown increasingly comfortable with the fact that His ways don’t have to make sense.

I’m not called to understand; I am called to be obedient.

You, too, may struggle to understand God’s call on your life—whatever that may be. If it is to write, but you don’t understand why, I know how you feel. If it is a calling to preach, but you don’t feel worthy to speak to God’s people on His behalf, I also know how you feel.

But here’s the truth—a calling is a calling, so stay the course. Here are some encouraging posts from Challies:

  • A Call for Plodding Bloggers.” In this essay, Challies reminds us that the Church needs good blogging. Just as a church planter must stay the course with planting, we too must keep the course with typing, word by word.
  • Death to Clickbait!” I’ve fallen into the trap of trying to create “clickbait”—some kind of article that drives traffic to my site, usually by overselling and underdelivering, thousands of times. Enough of that. Be consistent and faithful to your calling, and trust God with the analytics.
  • Writing Tips: Tools and Context.” Challies discusses what he uses and where he writes. Like him, I use Ulysses and do the “Coffee-shop-hop” all the time. His practical advice was good fuel for my writer’s tank.
  • Tim Turns 40 Today (A Note from Aileen).” The lesson here: be yourself. Tim’s wife makes it clear that he is as quirky as the rest of us. (Peanut butter on hotdogs … really?) But he loves Jesus. This article was a great reminder that ordinary guys can be used in extraordinary ways.

So here’s to a good cup of coffee and writing until you find the bottom of it daily. Write for the glory of God and the joy of His people. Ten years from now, I hope you and I can look back at myriad posts and trust that God did with our words as He saw fit.


[1] Challies, Tim, Blogging—My Story, accessed on 12/19/2022.


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