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Friday, November 4, 2016

Get going, will you!

"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day." (Jim Rohn
We complicate life so much, not because we take the most complicated actions, but sometimes because we don't take any action at all because the task seems unmanageable or "gigantic". I like what Rohn says - when we take a few simple steps, with repeated and determined consistency, we find we are moving toward our goal. If that goal is to overcome or heal from some sort of hurt, habit, or hangup in our life, we might not see the incremental change occurring, but if what Rohn says is true, then when we are consistent in the right actions, we will eventually see the right results.

So get going. And as you go, know this: with integrity you will overcome all obstacles; even if you run, you will not stumble. (Proverbs 4:12 VOICE)

I think where we falter the most is in the "getting going" part of the equation!  We often focus on the magnitude of the hurt, the stronghold of the hangup, or the length of time we have struggled with the habit.  God doesn't focus on the hurt, hangup or habit like we do - he sees these things in our lives - but then he also sees the very thing he has provided that will bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be - Jesus. When I was a teenager, there was a suspension bridge spanning a deep canyon in the backwoods area of the northern New Mexico town where I resided. It was supposed to be off-limits to normal foot traffic, but you know how teenagers are - nothing declared off limits is really treated as off limits!

Needless to say, one dare led to another, until I found myself taking that first wobbly and uncertain step onto that bridge swaying aloft in the mid-afternoon breezes of a chilly day in New Mexico. The depth of the canyon loomed below, the expanse of the bridge before, and the taunting jeers of fellow companions daring me from behind. Some of us take rather uncertain steps forward because others are propelling us to do so. Others are content to watch someone else go ahead to see if the way is too rough or impassible, then will venture out if it seems manageable. Either way, the bridge is still there - the expanse hasn't changed.

What changes is when we take the first step, followed by the second, and third and so on. The bridge doesn't serve the purpose for which it was prepared until someone actually begins to cross it!  There was beautiful land on the other side of the bridge - but in order to explore it, we all had to cross over. Snowy footprints left by the first one to pass over made a path for the next to follow. Some of us need to follow the footprints of another - there is no "wrong" in that. Others of us will be the ones to trudge our way across, feeling for the safe passage each step of the way, agonizing over every "next step" we must take to accomplish that goal.

It isn't that one of us has more courage than the other, or is more "spiritual" than the other. It is more likely that one of us is a "starter" and the other is a little bit of a "follower". God made both, so neither is wrong! The fact is that we have to "get going" - either by treading carefully as the one who will take the first step forward, or by following in the footsteps of those who have already taken the steps we need to take. Don't beat yourself up if you are one who needs to stop midway across the swaying bridge - regaining your grip and determination. It isn't that you are going to fail - it is that you need to recenter your focus.

As I crossed that bridge that day, I remember looking down a few times. My stomach immediately turned with fright. As soon as my eyes were fixed on the other end of the bridge and the beauty of the unexplored paths which laid before, my steps became clear. The bridge has been laid for us - we just need to take the steps.  Just sayin!