One Thing At A Time

Lao Tzu said: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It is from chapter 64 of Tao Te Ching, and one of the three similar statements. All three go this way:

  • A tree that fills a man’s embrace grows from a seedling.
  • A tower nine stories high starts with one brick.
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Facing a big challenge and a long way to go, we tend to be overwhelmed. Imagining these things could discourage us in despair. We sigh, saying life is difficult.

As Lao Tzu said, however, there is nothing to worry about. Anything huge, after all, consists of small parts and chunks. What we can do is one thing at a time here and now. A giant tree is from a tiny seedling. A high tower is from a small brick. And a journey of a thousand miles is from our mindful step here and now.

Let’s enjoy each step. Thich Nhat Hanh said: Peace is every step and every breath. Happiness is the way.

Indeed, each step is part of the whole; at the same time, it is the whole by itself. In every step here and now, we even enjoy the totality of a thousand miles. Why don’t we enjoy the moment instead of sighing and overwhelmed? With our mindfulness, we can see the entire universe out of a small pebble on the palm of our hand.

Reading the Bible, we go with the same principle. It consists of 66 books (or 73 with Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books). That is to say:

  • 66 books
  • 783,137 words
  • 3,116,480 letters
  • 39 books in the Old Testament
  • 27 books in the New Testament
  • 1,189 Chapters
  • 31,102 verses
  • 23,145 verses in 929 chapters for the Old Testament
  • 7,957 verses in 260 chapters for the New Testament.

Cardinal Hugo de S. Caro divided the Bible into these chapters in 1238. And Robertus Stephanus added verses in 1551. These were indeed the great efforts to visualize the entire Bible. We all appreciate such measures.

Is it overwhelming? The answer is yes, and no.

Yes, in doing so, we can see how huge the entire Bible is. No, because of seeing these breakdowns, we can find a way to enjoy each step of our Bible reading journey. Each word and verse, even each letter is every step that we find peace and happiness. God loves us.

As well-known, the shortest verse of the entire Bible is this:

Jesus wept.

John 11:35

In these two words, can we feel the entire Bible? Yes, we can. With our mindful, spiritual, and slow reading, in every verse, we can make the same approach. Taste it. Meditate on it. And contemplate on it.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 1:2

In contemplation, seeing the divine merge with whole and parts, we are part of the universe. We are the universe. God is within.

When we are busy, let’s slow down. And let’s focus on the moment of every step and breath we make. In such stillness in motion, can we find peace and happiness? If we can, we would see our sense of busyness was an illusion.

Image by StockSnap

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