One step is enough. One step is significant. One step is good. One step is sometimes all you can take and sometimes all you can see. One step is enough. One step! Why do we always want to see not only the entire staircase, but also the destination at the top? This week I’ve been thinking about the importance of one step. I’ll confess straight up that I’ve never been a fan of one step at a time. I like productivity, reaching goals, seeing the vastness of what lies ahead, recognising the path, following the plan and are definitely a fan of seeing more than one step. In fact, until recently I’ve vehemently hated the thought of one step at a time!
One step is enough. Culture applauds excess and equates it with success, but if you’re on the step you are meant to be on, why do we feel the need to be one, two or ten steps further or higher? Every progression in life is made with steps. Each step has a meaning and a purpose – even if it’s as simple as getting you closer to the next one. I’m beginning to see though, that every step holds all that it needs too. I am not without. This step is enough. This step is not my final destination, but while I am on it – it’s enough. It holds my weight, my fears, my dreams, my reality and will at the right time lead me to my next step. And guess what? That step too will be enough. It’s my step. It’s different to yours. It might be steps behind or steps in front, it might be dirtier, murkier or perhaps even sparklier than yours, but that really doesn’t matter! Why? Because this one step I find myself on is my current step. I stepped here and in time I will step again. This one step is enough for me.
One step is significant. It was on one step that you were born. It was on one step that your heart fluttered and you fell in love. It was on one step that you chose Jesus. It was on one step that you said, ‘I do.’ It was on one step that your best friend betrayed you. It was on one step that your Dad left, that your Mum died, that your whole world changed. When you think about steps you realise that they really are all significant. Some bursting with joy like the step where the pregnancy test was positive and others where your stomach dropped and panic overwhelmed where the pregnancy test was positive!! Steps are significant and life altering and I am beginning to see that even the most mundane, seemingly emotionless steps are still significant. They are significant because each step builds something into the story that is you. Each step takes you somewhere – even while you are just standing on that one step not sure where to next set your foot.
One step is good. I have been known to be quite extreme in countdowns. I once wrote a countdown in chalk on the road outside my house to my birthday. For some reason I felt everyone should know it was coming and be excited for it! I would count down to Christmas, to holidays, to the end of a school year and to any other thing I was looking forward too. I remember my friend saying to me one day as we walked to school one morning, ‘you’ll count your whole life away if you keep it up!’ and those words have stuck to this day. One step is good and each step is good. There really is no gain in missing the step you’re on wishing for the next one. We convince ourselves that the next step will be good, that it will be better, or that it will somehow make this step we are standing on seem better than it feels right now. The truth is all steps are good. Even when they feel bad. They are good because they are, or at least can, do good in you. They can build resilience, teach patience, smack you into a course correction or deepen a relationship. They can see faith rise, perspective change and grit grow. These are things that I want in my life and so each step, regardless of my feelings, is intrinsically good. This I have determined and it has been a game changer.
One step is enough. It really is. The Bible tries to teach us this in so many ways. One step at a time. Abram was called to a new land – no destination – just one step given. The Israelites were sustained one step at a time for forty years until they reached their promised land destination. Bread from heaven fell one day at a time – it couldn’t be stored unless to cover the Sabbath. It required one step at a time. Each step had enough; whether they gathered much or little, they each had enough. Jesus called his disciples with a ‘come follow me!’ and they went. Jesus didn’t write out a job description or benefits scheme or offered any monetary support. Just one step. Each one step is enough. When Jesus taught us to pray He taught to pray for ‘our daily bread’, bread for each day, for each step. Each step is met with supply from heaven, each step we rely on heaven. This is how faith works! We don’t run off ahead and set our own path, create some short cuts and blaze ahead. We walk step by step and each step carries its own providence.
One step is enough. One step is significant. One step is good. Maybe you’ve nailed the one step at a time thing, or maybe like me you’ve wrestled with it. It’s particularly hard to not wrestle when you’re not enjoying your step, or when you’ve been on the same step for what feels like eternity. The next step will come. I’m learning, and not yet nailing, that each step is important to my story, my person, my calling, my present and my future. With that in mind it helps me to make the most of this one step. Might as well look around and make the most of it and learn from all it holds. No one step lasts forever. It’s both the good news and the bad news! Every one step carries all it needs too. Every one step takes you somewhere on this adventure called life! One step. I can do that… we can all do that!