I really like the metaphor of stepping stones leading us, one at a time, in an orderly fashion off into the horizon where we’ll find success and fulfillment and joy forever more. The trail is easy…all you have to do is take the first step. A miss-step here or there might mean a wet foot but not utter failure and complete ruin.
But that’s rarely the case is it. Every one of us is different so everyone of us has a different path to follow; each with its own unique set of circumstances and challenges. Therefore, it’s not going to be easy because there’s not going to be a map to follow. But the stuff that’s easy probably isn’t that valuable, right?
Although I like the photo above, it’s really not accurate. Take away a couple of the orderly stones, spread a slimy coat of mud and moss on the stones and then have a thick fog descend on the path so you can only see about one or two stones out in front of you. That might be more realistic. That’s probably a better picture of the pathway I have stretching out in front of me right now.
Every day is a matter of balancing on the one stone I can be sure of while trying to figure out where the next stone may be and where the path might lead. Many days my focus seems to be on the 5 or 10 year plan, which can be fun to dream that far out (because I can afford to be theoretical about something happening that far in the future) but it does little to help me with the here and now.
The need to see the entire path before I take a single step is a strong one. Are you like that? I think the key is to look out to the horizon, not to figure out the ultimate destination but only to get the sense of where the next step should be. Then pray circles around your decision. Then move.
It seems to me that the more time I spend on this adventure, the more I’m learning that my prayer shouldn’t be, “Lord, lift the fog so I can see the path.” My prayer should always be, “Lord, give me the courage to take this step, right here, today.”