One of the most noteworthy moments in the life of any human being, I think, is oddly enough one that none of us can remember. If someone asked you to describe the day you took your first ‘steps,’ you’d be hard-pressed to come up with that moment or what was going on in your mind that caused you to take that first, risky step, and launch yourself into the world of … walking.
As human beings, we understand how important steps are. In fact, there’s just something about ‘first steps’ that needs to be noticed, and photographed, and documented, I think. We’re all born with an innate fear of falling. And when a toddler overcomes that fear, we need to get pictures of that bravery, so we grab our cameras. Somehow, walking is always worth the risk for toddlers. When they take those first steps, they cross a great divide, they step over a threshold of growth and development.
One dictionary defines a step as an act or movement of putting one leg in front of the other in walking or running. Every walk we’ve ever taken was composed of many steps, continual movements of putting one leg in front of the other. Perhaps no other element in human life is as important, and yet as seemingly simple as a step.
We only take our first steps … once. There’s a reason we call babies learning to walk ‘toddlers.’ When you let go of that table or chair that brought you so much security the first time you did it, you overcame your fear of falling, but you almost certainly wobbled a bit; you may have swayed back and forth or even had to stand still for a moment, just to catch your bearings. While you may have been ‘coaxed’ into your first step by an adoring parent who wanted to encourage you, no one sat you down and explained the mechanics of walking to you, did they? No one told you how important walking would be to you, or that in order to be ambulatory, you needed to know how to walk for yourself. On the day you took your first steps, you just did it.
Question: Where were you headed, the day you took your first steps? Who directed you to that “somewhere else?” You wanted to move from where you were to where you thought you wanted to be.
The longing to walk through life seems to have been factory-installed by God himself in all of us. But our need to hold on to a hand to steady our halting steps … never goes away. No matter who you are, no matter where life finds you, today: If you’re not holding on to a hand bigger than your own … you’re in a scary place.
In fact, God mentions that, in His book, in Prov. chapter 16, verse 9: “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but it is the Lord who establishes their steps.”
“I may have plans about the way I want to live, but only God makes me able to live it.”