Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Big Steps

Life is mostly about the little things, a little step forward every day.  A little bit of faith at a time.  One small step...

But there's also a place for one giant leap.  There's a place for a few huge steps forward every now and then, and I think that is where most of us stumble.  At least, I know that's where I stumble.  That's where I trip over my own feet most of the time.

The little things will eat away at you, but the big ones...those can paralyze you with fear.  The little things are uncomfortable, but the big ones...are agonizing.  Nobody panics much when God says, "Now, take one small step to your right."  But have Him ask you to move 400 miles to your west, and there's the big thing.  There's the fear.

Because when you take the big steps, you're really putting yourself out there.  You're not just moving; you're transplanting.  You're not inching away; you're hopping the fence.  It's not so simple as one small step; it really is a giant leap.  Where you'll land, maybe you can't see that from here.  What awaits you, you can't really see that either.  And perhaps most scarily, from where you came, you can't turn back.

When you're going after the little things, if you try it and you fail, then so what?  Take a step back to your left, and you're home again.  If it's just a little different, and it's not your thing, then go back to what you know.  No big deal.  But set yourself on a trajectory to land in a different zip code (metaphorically speaking, unless God is actually asking you to move to another zip code), and where exactly is home?  How do you go back?  Can you?

Most of the time, you can't.  And I've found that's true even if you fail.  At least for me, on the few occasions in my life that God has asked me to take a big step, I have had a mix of successes and failures.  Pleasing and agonizing results.  Things that worked out well, and things I'd do differently if I could do them all over again.  But I would do them all over again.

Because once I take that step, I often realize I wouldn't want it any other way.  I couldn't go back, knowing what's out here.  Knowing what's over here, what is one big faith-filled step away from where I was, there's no way I would ever be happy going back.  Which is not to say I'm happy taking a big step with a hard landing, either.

So where's the middle ground?  How do you take the big steps God is asking you to take and make a good landing far from home - so that your first memory of your new place isn't that first time you put your foot down and it slipped right out from under you?

You learn to put your foot down on the Promise of God, no matter how big a step you're taking.

Pray, study, discern, decode, figure out what it is God has promised you and set your sights on that.  Use that as the solid ground, the stepping stone on which to rest your foot.  And don't look back.  No pilot ever landed a plane by looking over his shoulder at the horizon from which he came.  No runner ever found the finish line with one eye on the start.  No climber ever topped the mountain by watching the base camp.  In fact, he'd tell you that you can't look down!  You get where you're going by keeping an eye where you're going, knowing where you're headed, and anticipating what it will be like when you get there.  When you know what promise God's asking you to step into, it's a lot less scary to put your foot down.  And it's a lot harder to slip.

But God doesn't always tell you where you're going or why, you might argue.  Valid point, but I never said that He does.  I only said that He always promises.  You don't have to know why; you only need to know who.  In the Scriptures, God may send a man or a woman to this land or to that king or in that direction, and He doesn't always tell them why they're going.  But He tells them, "I am sending you."  That's a promise.  He tells them, "I am going with you."  That's a promise.

He assures them, "I will be with you always." a promise.  And that's enough to put your foot on.

I'm making a lot of big moves lately, and I have a feeling He's not done calling me to do so.  It's tough sometimes to take the big steps.  They seem so far from home, and I don't seem to know much about where I'm going.  Or really why, in some cases.  Except that there's a promise in there somewhere, and I know Who sends me.  I know Who stands beside.  I know Who is with me wherever I land.  So under my breath, I keep reminding myself - take one giant leap and put your foot down on the Promises.

That's enough to stand on.

So here goes nothing....  Cheers to big steps!

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