When I struck out on my daily walk one early morning, I noticed it begin to sprinkle. Just a handful of drops dotted the pavement, with the first drying up almost before the others hit and I managed to complete my route before the rain came down in earnest.
Later in the day, those first showers became a full-fledged rainstorm. Even though the first drops I noticed had little effect, they were absolutely necessary for this storm to have come.
Something…someone…has to be willing to be first. Without a first there can be no second, no hundredth, no millionth.
This is a lesson for all of us.
Most of us would be willing to be the first at something if we were guaranteed success. We admire the successful pioneer in any field, but we don’t usually remember those who came before, those who attempted the same thing and failed. Fear of failure is a powerful force, too powerful for many people to even attempt to overcome.
Fear of being the first and failing can lead to inertia, paralysis, and a lack of achievement. This applies to Christians, as we deal with an increasingly hostile culture. Fear of failure, of being mocked or ignored, can keep us from being the first in a situation to speak out against the wrongs we see.
But, what if you are the first raindrop and you hit the pavement, sizzle, and evaporate? Is that a failure, if the ‘pavement’ is made a bit cooler and more receptive? You can make things easier for those who follow and, as more ‘raindrops’ join in, eventually, the deluge of change may come.
You ask, “What difference can I, a single person, make?” Well, history is a vast record of revolutionary changes, and every time, someone took the first step.
If we are to be available to do God’s will, we must be willing to be the first raindrop.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9New International Version (NIV)