Three weeks ago I was stung by a wasp. It was my first experience with a wasp sting, and though the immediate pain was intense, I felt like my reaction overall was pretty mild.
Then, nine days later, the site broke out in hives and my arm was fevered and itchy. I’d never heard of a delayed reaction to a sting, and wouldn’t have expected a second flare-up would be more severe than the first. I consulted with a friend who is a retired nurse and she confirmed it was a delayed allergic reaction rather than a new issue. I treated it over the next few days with various home remedies, and I’m happy to say I made a full recovery.
It really made me think, though. How often does one event end up having a big impact on things down the road? One choice today can make a tremendous difference in the future—for good or for bad. The illustration of the wasp sting breaks down pretty quickly, because getting stung was not my choice. I didn’t seek out the wasp. I was doing something I’ve done a thousand times: carrying my groceries into the house. Sometimes things just happen. But there are plenty of areas where our choices today will hold sway over our futures.
On my writing journey, I’ve seen many times how connections I made through my book blog are benefiting me right now. When I started that blog in 2010, networking for future author opportunities was not on my mind at all. Not even a little bit. I was someone who loved reading but had an extremely limited income. Book blogging was the best way to feed my habit without breaking the bank.
Eleven years later, I’ve made a lot of friends among authors and other bloggers just by being myself. By showing up for my review commitments. By staying grateful for the opportunity to promote stories I love. There was no grand plan to use my book blog as a platform or self-promotion. I couldn’t have imagined that happening because I had no plans to pursue writing myself at that point. I thought it was a dream that would probably never come true. Yet each day as a book blogger was actually bringing me closer and closer to something more exciting—and I didn’t even know it.
What small step could you take today that has potential to make a big difference in your life? We can’t travel back through time to the “I wish I would have” moments, but we can live with eyes and hearts open to what God might be doing today—right now—even in something small and insignificant. If you feel Him prompting you, follow that leading. If there’s a dream on your heart, look for one way to bring it a little closer. Maybe the result of your action won’t be apparent until much later. But keep the faith. When we trust our lives to God, He uses everything to shape us into the future He’s calling us to. Be brave with Him.