Of all that we have to do in our day, from our work, to going to the grocery store, to the myriad of things we do and are responsible for others, there is that nagging “other” list that begs our attention. You know the one — the one that has the things we know we have to tend to but just are not sure where to start.
Begin a regime to eat healthy. Mend a broken relationship. Change an undesirable habit… Whatever it is, there is always an impulse - a pressure - to take direction in some aspect of life that requires the breaking of new ground. There are a lot of things on this list that silently bounce inside our heads, plaguing us with overwhelm and the constant question of “how.”
There is a song from the old animated children’s Christmas show, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” starring Mickey Rooney and Keenan Wynn. The song, “Put One Foot in Front of the Other” is a classic, and has stuck with me all my life. I could not possibly recount how many times I have recited this song, either to myself or to my kids, as a reminder that taking one step forward and then another will soon have us “walking ‘cross the floor.”
It’s just that sometimes things aren’t so easy.
There are situations in our lives that seem so overwhelming, so complex, that we often find ourselves looking at our feet, willing one of them to move, but they feel stuck. We know we need to take a step. We know that we want to. But doing so is easier said than done.
What is that thing for you?
For me, I can safely say it is letting go of a relationship that was intended to be forever. It is in the rebuilding of my life, my family, that looks in no way the same as I had envisioned it. The steps I need to make are not unlike the feeling of learning how to walk all over again. They are shaky. And sometimes, I still fall.
Thankfully, God knows this. And just like we do when our babies are taking their first steps, He holds out His hands and beckons us forward. He encourages us, “You can do this!” And He lets us know that He is there to catch us.
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, behind them were decades of living in the desert. They had gotten used to this life. Egypt was only a distant memory. There was a whole generation buried in the sand that they were connected to. Despite the good things that God promised were in the land ahead of them, I imagine that their feet felt stuck at the edge of the river, not certain how to cross into it.
We can only truly grow when we move.
God wants us to cross the uncertain places of our lives with Him in view. He will make a way where there is no way. He will stop the flow of the river so that we can safely move across it. He knows that this is not always easy, but He promises that it can be done.
What is behind us is always hard to let go of. Hurts, blessings, memories, broken dreams… But what is ahead, is where new life is.
Perhaps the thing that you know you need to take a step towards is a new opportunity, a new healing, a new expectation that replaces an old way of thinking.
Whatever it is, know that God’s got you. Know that if He is calling you towards it, He has already made for you a place to land and it is good.
Good things, hard things, are accomplished when we trust that God is with us in them.
Take a step, and then another. “And soon you’ll be walking out the door.”