The first step is the hardest

The first step is the hardest

The first step is the hardest

My eyes widened as I scanned the room and noticed the sea of heads. Tilting my face upward, I looked at my daddy standing beside me. He pressed his lips into a thin line and reassured me with his warm brown eyes. I recalled his words from the previous day when I admitted this would be difficult.

Take the first step, God will take the rest.

I looked back at the heads. Shades of brown and blonde were accented with the full spectrum of white, silver and gray. If you looked at the right angle, more than a few had a blue tint. The lone redhead near the front perfectly complimented the colors in the stained-glass.
My dad nodded as I glanced up at him once more. He didn’t notice the moisture left by my palms on the pew in front of us. The faded, red carpet seemed to stretch on for miles, but the decision had already been made. I deliberately picked up my right foot and realized it too was sweating inside my white leather sandals.

I took one step

I had no awareness of my legs carrying me down the aisle. In a moment I was standing beside Brother Crumley at the altar. Even on my tiptoes, I was too short to see my parents who were still in their regular seats on the back row.

God took the rest

Acts 2:41, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized…” NKJV

A WALK DOWN MEMORY AISLE

I felt like I was magically transported down the aisle where I could see the faces on the other side of the colored heads. Now that I am grown, I don’t believe in magic anymore. This may surprise you, but I tend to be a skeptic. An optimistic skeptic, but a skeptic nonetheless.

My yellow dress with green embroidery had criss-cross straps in the back. The pastor’s auburn colored comb-over and wire-rimmed glasses are etched clearly in my memory bank. I don’t know the exact date, but can determine the time of year because of the weather. I still have no explanation for my complete lapse of leg awareness, except I had faith in my father’s words.

Take the first step, God will take the rest.

Ephesians 3:20, “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” MSG

WHAT ABOUT NOW?

Walking doesn’t require tremendous skill, though a year ago it required strength I didn’t have. Walking doesn’t require courage, but the first step certainly does. Once you plant your sweaty little hoof out there in the aisle, you are committed. Afterwards it’s simple, one foot in front of the other propels you forward. The first step is always the hardest part. I’m smiling and shaking my head as I think about the accumulation of perspiration on my palms and soles at the mere thought of being in front of crowd, since that’s kind of what I do now.

2 Corinthians 4:13, “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak.'” ESV

WHAT AM I DOING?

Some days I still feel like that seven year old little girl when I publish my blog. I envision the virtual sea of colorful heads all over the world. My first clue I was severely under-qualified for technical work was the look on my son’s face when I asked him how to copy/paste for the fifth time. But the decision had been made and therefore the commitment, so I took the first step. My Heavenly Father is beside me, nodding His encouragement, nudging me and reminding me of my earthly father’s words,

Take the first step; God will take the rest.

2 Timothy 4:17, “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.” NIV

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What is God calling you to do? Does it require you to step out in the aisle or your comfort zone and walk to the front? You have a choice. Will you decide to follow Jesus wherever He leads? Take that hard first step in faith and put one foot in front of the other. Maybe it’s time to overcome your sweaty palms and feet, turn around and face the crowd. You know, what my dad said is still true.

Take the first step, God will take the rest #courage #rtp Click To Tweet

Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” HCSB

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I WOULD RATHER DIE LIVING THAN LIVE DYING

I would rather die livingAfter months of planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park with my dad and nephew, the government shut down of 2013 forced us to postpone our trip for one year. I never imagined my health would fail. Not one to let anything, including myasthenia gravis slow me down, I accepted my sister’s offer to join the adventure. My family was understandably worried. My disease was not stable and our itinerary would take us to remote areas with limited access to medical care.

I went anyway.

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  KJV

LIVE UNTIL YOU DIE

My grandfather lived to be ninety-one years old. I can still see his crooked smile and eyes twinkling behind his coke-bottle glasses. Every day of his life, until two weeks before he stepped into Heaven, he walked downstairs to the basement and slowly put one foot in front of the other on the worn belt of his treadmill. Whenever we visited, he sat in “his chair” and slung one leg over the armrest. His motto was, ”

I’m going to live until I die.

Don't quit living before you die#live #life #fulfilled Click To Tweet

Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  KJV

ADRENALINE JUNKIE

It’s possible to quit living before you die. Yeah, no one has ever accused me of that. I like the feel of wind in my hair and adrenaline in my veins. I guess that’s why I miss my bicycle so much. The green machine and I have spent countless hours together. She’s taken me to the top of Petit Jean Mountain and through undulating hills in the country. We’ve flown dangerously fast down the twists and turns of Mill Creek Road. My family was a little worried about that too. I miss pedaling, but it wasn’t safe.

Joshua 10:25, “Joshua said to them, Do not be afraid or discouraged.  Be strong and courageous, for the Lord will do this to all the enemies you fight.”  HCSB

WRITING NOT RIDING

Physically, it might be safer, but emotionally it’s not. I bare my soul to the world, sometimes without touching the brakes. In retrospect, I was writing while I was riding. Pedaling thirty or forty miles provided time to contemplate life, only my thoughts never made it to the page, until  now. A part of me still cringes whenever I hit PUBLISH. If you are encouraged when you read, then it’s worth the risk. So thanks.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.  Jim Elliot

LIVE LIKE IT MATTERS

Don't wait until someday for adventure #livetoday Click To Tweet

Truly, you never know what tomorrow brings. My life is a perfect example. I hope you have courage and have the guts to chase your dreams. Do something outside your comfort zone. I am not advocating reckless behavior, but don’t play it so safe you miss the joys of life. God calls us to do outrageous things, things that matter for eternity.  Life is an adventure, don’t wait. Reach out, forgive, be bold.  Don’t miss the thrill.

Enjoy the ride…

James 4:14, “You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring-what your life will be!  For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.” HCSB

What should you be doing?  Step out in faith and do it.

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