Watch Your Step!
by Jessica Myers
Even if you only took 5,000 steps a day (which is considered lower than average), you would make a total of 35,000 steps a week. In an average month that would be 1,085,000 steps. And in one year, it would equal a little under 13,000,000 steps.
That is a lot of steps! And most of us will take thousands or even millions more depending on our occupations, inclinations, and abilities.
Thousands of steps sound important and indeed are necessary to keep us fit and allow us to reach our goals and destinations, but what about just one step.
Is one step important?
What difference can one step make?
One Sunday night--a little over a week ago--I took a step that got my attention.
I had slung the computer bag over one shoulder, filled one arm with our family stack of Bibles, notebooks, etc., and clutched the projector bag with my free hand. It had been a great Lord's Day with the opportunity to teach children's church and present the ministry in the morning service and then share a creation presentation that night.
Many of the church members had already finished visiting after the service and were headed home. I was fulfilling my self-appointed role of packing things up and stowing them in the van while my family continued visiting with those who remained. I was in a bit of a hurry as we had a family coming over after church for a late supper, and I knew it would take several trips to get everything loaded, not to mention the time needed for final goodbyes. It was a bit dark outside the church as I walked down the sidewalk toward where our van was parked.
My mind was thinking ahead to what needed to be done before company arrived. I further distracted myself by looking out at the truck stop across the street. I had talked to a young man who worked there a few days before. Had he read the tract I gave him as promised? Would he overcome his childhood grudge and visit one of the many good churches in the area I had recomended? Too bad I hadn't realised at the time that this church was so close and that we would be speaking and singing there! It was such a lovely evening. To think that tomorrow was expected to be wet and cloudy with the approach of Tuseday's projected storm. Well, we would be leaving tomorrow in time to avoid it. Such thoughts darted through my head in less time than it takes to read them as I walked steadily toward the van.
Suddenly, with one step, I was lying on the ground. I had unknowingly stepped off the sidewalk in such a way that I had fallen, scattering my cargo. I felt vaguely that I had hit my left knee upon the cement curb where I now half sat in front of the van. I wanted to get up, but the growing pain in my right ankle screamed for me to be still. "Dear Father, Help Me!" "Dear Jesus, Help Me!" I tried not to faint from the pain. The almost empty parking lot, the remembrance that the door had locked behind me, the knowledge of my parents' propensity to fellowship till the last moment did nothing to ease my mind. I cried out to God louder and louder.
I was in too much pain to truly consider what type of damage may have been done. A wave of nasea swept over me and the pain intensified. If only someone would come out and see me. I wanted my Mother! I tried to think where my phone was. If I could just find it...but, no, it was in my purse on the front row in the sanctuary. I began to call out for Mom. "MOM! MOM!" I felt like one of the bawling calves I had ridden behind during a cattle drive at a friend's ranch a few days before. I sounded pathetic, but I didn't care. I needed help!
What a relief to see the church door swing open a few moments later. God knew exactly what was needed. The first one out the door was a search and rescue worker. He sent one of his children to fetch my parents and immediately checked my now HUGELY swelling ankle. Good news! It was not broken, but severely sprained (we didn't know it then but my foot itself was also sprained). He carefully deposited me into the van and gave us some things to do and watch for. I will save you the explanation of my treatments, countless groans, apologies to my family, and their words of comfort; and simply say that even one step can make a great impact.
brought great pain
a need for much aid, comfort, and time for healing
affected those closest to me
changed our plans to travel the next day into the next week
reminded me of the importance of each step we take--not only physically, but in our
lives as a whole. I need the Lord to guide my steps.
I have just now begun to take a few tentative steps again. I trust I will soon be able to walk without pain and once more think it no great thing to take thousands of steps each day. But I pray that I will watch my step. I want each step I take to be sure, steady, and on the Lord's path for my life so I need to follow His direction. A misstep off a sidewalk can cause pain and change plans, but a misstep off the Lord's Way can have much more damaging consequences for a Christian. I thank the Lord that He is merciful and even in times of failure upholds us. These verses are wonderful promises.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand."