One step at a timeOct 09, 2023
Please enjoy this guest post from David Steen, the author of "Almost Home" and a member of the Platform Launchers Members' Club
For many, Mondays are thought of as a dreadful day, the day after the weekend when one has to return to work, to begin anew, nose to the grindstone. For me, life has become quite different, especially after having worked in the corporate setting for nearly three decades. My life now includes long walks with my wife and watching the sun rise just outside my back door most mornings, along with several cups of dark roast coffee.
In the early years of our marriage, my wife Katrina and I really began sowing seeds into our relationship, knowing that we needed the strength of unity and oneness. As our family was growing in number, making it more difficult each and every year to get quality time together, our main escape from it all was to spend time walking together. Now, because we made that investment of time in each other, our marriage of nearly twenty-five years continues to thrive as we reap the harvest of what we’ve sown in each other.
In the rural area we call home, we have a few directions we set out toward when we step off the front porch in our walking shoes. Our time and energy commitment usually lends itself to walking a couple of miles when we go, weather permitting. Our favorite direction takes us down our country road, a short jog down the main highway, and down another less-traveled side road. We follow this quiet road to our one-mile turnaround point, a decades-old oak tree on the side of the road near a large creek.
On many of our oak tree walks, when we have extra time, we wander down to the creek in the woods and stroll around, taking in the scenery and the sounds of water flowing. We walk along, share our joys and struggles, and lift our burdens up to the Lord together.
Recently, on the first Monday of fall, Katrina was occupied with some homeschooling lessons with our children, but I needed to get my walk in, so I decided to strike out alone. I’ve learned that, aside from the needed exercise, it is of great value to get off alone at times, to take in our natural surroundings, and enjoy my own time of walking with God.
As I set out on my walk, just me and the Lord, I was blessed beyond measure. The new morning He had created, the landscape of moisture droplets in every direction, consumed my attention. Instead of being able to see our usual mountains in the distance, I could barely see the tree line across the field. If ever there was a day that felt like fall had arrived, that was it. A blanket of fog had engulfed our area, and there was no sign of it ending anytime soon.
That morning seemed very different, something I hadn’t experienced in some time. I was blessed to have extra time and was just on a mission to capture everything the Lord had for me, everything He wanted to show me along the way. He was showing off His beauty and ability to put on display things that, on normal sunny days, I could not see.
As I walked along, happy to have the thick cover of fog to protect me from what would normally be the bright rays of sunlight, I began to feel moisture bead up on my eyebrows and mustache. Walking down the quiet country road, enjoying my surroundings, I felt as though I’d been introduced to a new family of artists that God was revealing to me. In the midst of the fog, there were thousands of them, like a craft fair in the fall, artisans lined up displaying their wares. Who were these gifted artists?
I suppose they had been there all along, but on most normal days, with the sun shining brightly and no fog in the air, their webs and nests were rarely seen. But oh, how they were seen that day! It was as if the dead had come to life like a new light had been turned on to display an unseen realm. I was mesmerized!
Before long, under the cover of the thick fog, I came to our usual one-mile oak and decided not to turn back, but to continue walking. On many other occasions, we had walked further to the old abandoned church, but we didn’t do it often because of the longer distance and time requirement. As I walked along in the cool, damp air, not being able to see much in any direction, before long, the road started to veer to the left. That seemed odd to me. Normally the road would just continue straight for a time and then turn. However, on that particular day, because of my limited sight distance, I could only see what was right in front of me. In addition to that, because I had been enjoying the walk so much, I had simply lost track of time and space, walking along, not a care in the world.
Then, it hit me.
On other occasions, while taking that same long walk on a clear day, once we passed the one-mile oak I would begin to dread the long distance to the turn in the road, then the other long distance to the church, all of which I could see from a long way off. Essentially, on the clear days, when I could see the entire path ahead, my mindset would beat me down, making me think it was a long and difficult journey to go further.
On that lovely, foggy first Monday of fall, I experienced a valuable lesson. When we set our sights way beyond what’s right in front of us, we can get burdened down with thinking how hard it will be to cross that long distance. However, if we keep our eyes on the next step, what is directly in front of us, enjoying the journey along the way, we will get to the next step, look up and wonder how we got there.
Certainly, we must set goals and keep our eyes on the future. But we must not get bogged down thinking about the next thousand steps to success. Take one step at a time, and enjoy the journey
along the way.
You can learn more about David Steen at www.almosthomebooks.com
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