Take The Next Right Step

I've often labeled myself "a planner".  I don't do surprises well and I struggle with spur of the moment thinking. I like to know what is ahead of me before I get there and how it can or will affect me.  I have always been this way to an extent but it became much more important to me when I became divorced. As a single mom, you are often thinking of the future and planning ahead because if you don't you are liable to find yourself up a creek without a paddle.  Although planning is all well and good, sometimes we aren't supposed to plan or in other words, call the shots. I am finding this much more to be true each day I get older and especially in my new marriage.

While hiking with my husband, I found myself in physical situations that were extremely strenuous at times.  We'd be walking on a fairly level trail, then around twists and turns, then uphill, then downhill and it just continually changed.  We had been hiking the day before at this same location but decided to take a different route which was unknown to both of us.   We walked mostly uphill on a new path and I found my asthma acting up and my legs beginning to ache.  We walked a good 2 miles on a rocky path then up an incline. As we arrived at a fork in the path, we found the trail we had been wanting to get to, the "Intermediate" trail.  This trail took us on ledges, in twists and turns going uphill then downhill.  We came to another fork in the path.  This was another trail we had been seeking.  The "Advanced" trail. We turned to head up this trail and I looked all the way at the top.  The path was full of rocks and it was at a steeper incline than we had just encountered.  Unknowing to us at the time, we had a good 1/4 mile incline to attack, but what I saw was simply 300 feet up.  I let out a whimper and almost asked to take a different trail.  My husband who has much more stamina than I do had already started up the trail. I decided to just follow him and hope for the best.

Walking up that trail I kept looking to the top and my feet became heavier with each glance. I would look down at my shoes and the one step at a time in order to catch my breath when it hit me! I didn't feel the agony quite the same when I was concentrating on just one more step.  When I looked at the entire journey I became overwhelmed but as I looked just at the next step it wasn't as bad.  Sure there was still grunting and heavy breathing but it wasn't too much to handle.  As I rose to the top of the first defeated hill, I looked down. I was able to see the journey I had just taken and I felt happy that I kept taking those steps. It was wonderful to see where I had come.  My husband and cheerleader gave me a proud high-five.

How often are we looking up our mountain of circumstances rather than just the next step ahead of us? And how often is that mountain of circumstances, just a percentage of the entire journey?  God may allow us to see a little mountain at a time, but we should focus on the next step. I guarantee that if I had seen the 1/4 mile incline I was going to climb when all was said and done, I would have said, "no thanks" and chosen a simpler path.  But seeing the journey in pieces and then concentrating on each step made it all the more possible.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent insight on looking just enough ahead without getting overwhelmed.