One day in your distant past, you took the very first step of your life. Maybe it was a Tuesday, maybe a Saturday. Maybe your parents were there to watch you, or maybe it happened when no one was looking. But something in your mind assured you that it was time. So, you hoisted yourself up on a table or a couch, steadied yourself for just a moment, let go of the table and off you went! Your first step. What happened next? Maybe you took another, or even another, but inevitably you fell. But it didn’t matter that you fell, because you had achieved something, and deep inside of you, you knew that your life had changed forever. You were literally stepping into your future, and you would never look back.
Often we say that taking a first step is an act of faith, and it can be, but it is also an act of the mind. A toddler does not have the capacity for faith, all they have is willpower, instinct that some basic sense that they are not alone. That is good enough for them. They follow their inner voice telling them that their destiny is to walk, for to walk is to experience life. The voice urges them on, compelling them to move, and so they do, claiming their inheritance one small step at a time.
First steps are hard in life. They require us to let go of certainty and security. As toddlers we eagerly listened to the inner voice urging us on. We never doubted it or questioned it. We knew that it had our best interest at heart. We knew we had to take that first step or forever be limited to the confines of our crib. The inner voice that urges the toddler forward is always with us, even as adults, inviting us to take another step on our own journey. The difference is, we have learned to question it. Or we listen to the louder voices of fear or doubt drown out the one urging us onward to something new; a new job, a new relationship, a new opportunity.
If you are considering a first step in life, but you’re not sure if you should let go and take it, remember that long ago you did it, and not only did you survive, but look where it has taken you. Imagine where that next “first step” could take you.
The writer Abiodun Fijabi captured it so well:
“Get going,” says my conscience. “But there is a huge river ahead.”
“Don’t worry there will be a boat when you get there.”
“Get going,” says my conscience. “But there is a thick wilderness ahead.”
“Just get going, God will make a way.”
“Get going,” says my conscience. “But there is pitch darkness out there.”
“Not to worry, take a leap in the darkness and the light will shine.”
When you’re ready, you will know. When you’re ready, you will know. Take a step, and off you will go!!