[Originally published in the Monroe News on May 15, 2020]
One teensy tiny little good thing that has come of our weeks in quarantine is that my 1-year old has learned to walk. Not long after she hit her first birthday she really began to grow interest in standing upright and testing her feet and balance out in taking a step. No doubt most of you have witnessed this process yourselves in your own families. I have recollections of it when my older boys were learning to walk some years back and even now I am still blown away at the wonder of it. I could watch my little girl for hours as she tries to do the simplest of things. I take thousands of steps every day and yet it's mesmerizing to watch her take just a short few. You wish you could see into their minds as they are trying to sort things out. Their little hands hang onto a couch for balance and they weigh what would happen if they let go. They see you several steps away sitting in the middle of a room, will they be able to make that long distance? It is a wonder to behold.
We spend so much of our life learning to take steps. Only in this case I don’t mean those baby steps when we’re first learning to walk. That first time we tried to ride a bike was taking new steps. That first time we drove a car was a nervous set of new steps … at least for our parents and instructor. That first day on the job when we’re getting trained and figuring out what needs to be done was a new set of steps. Those first decisions as we prepare to graduate college and move on into the adult world are a big set of steps. Getting married, starting a family, buying a house, the list grows rapidly. In all of these big life events we’re learning another way to take more steps in this life. In each of these moments though, we’re still a lot like the little one with a steadying hand holding onto something wondering if its safe to let go. We’re wobbling with our balance trying to put one foot in front of the other hoping we don’t go crashing down.
The Bible has something to say about this. If you dig deep into the longest chapter of the Bible, Psalm 119, you’ll eventually get to verse 133 and the writer says this “Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.”
I know in my life that it is a regular challenge to keep steady my steps. Yes it's true I like to run on trails and sometimes this is a very literal thing to watch out for roots and rocks that'll break my steps and take me down. I also feel this in my daily life. I constantly question the steps I take. I wonder if I'm making the right decisions. For any one of us this is a powerful prayer to make to the Lord, keep steady my steps. When I am uncertain of the next move I need for my life, there is no better place for me to turn than to the wisdom of the Lord. There is nothing better in which I can place my trust than in the promises of the Lord. Just as my young daughter still needs something to hold onto at times when she is taking her steps, we need that solid Rock upon which we can stand when we take life's big steps.
To God be the glory.
Mark Witte is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org