Learning to Step
I don’t know if you realize this, but walking is actually pretty complicated. Ask any one-year-old. He won’t answer you, but you can ask him. Think about it:
- You have to look up instead of at your feet.
- You have to let go of the walls and furniture.
- You have to control yourself even when everything feels shaky.
- You have to practice. A LOT.
- You need help.
- You get bruises on your knees and your forehead.
- You sometimes fall flat on your face.
See? Complicated! This is rough. I don’t know how any of us ever learned to walk. Except for the fact that walking starts with something simple: a step.
As the first-time parent of an infant, I have been fascinated watching my one-year-old learn to walk. Now he can toddle across a room and we don’t get out the camera every time. Just most of the time. Soon those cross-room treks will become long walks to the park and games of chase. But it all started with a first step.
There is an obscure guy in the Bible named Enoch. Genesis 5:24 says, “Enoch walked with God.” Okay…what’s the big deal? The rest of Enoch’s story is weird and awesome (you’ll have to look it up to find out why), but I want to camp out right here on the walking part. Because walking is a bigger deal than you might think. Enoch apparently was pretty tight with God. The writer of Genesis makes it sound so easy, like you can just take a walk around the block with God. But if you’re like me, walking with God for a lifetime can get pretty complicated. You have to look up. You have to let go. You have to admit that you need help. You have to develop self-control and you get bruises. You might fall flat on your face.
But the good news is that walking starts with something simple: a step. And with practice, steps become strolls and strolls become jogs and jogs become marathons.
The cool thing about walking is that there is always a next step. Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s ahead. Sometimes you are so tired (or stubborn) that you just want to sit down. Sometimes you are so debilitated by pain or fear that you can only crawl. But I want to tell you the same thing that I tell my baby boy: You can walk. Just take one step.
One way this has played out in my life is how I read the Bible. I’ve grown up in the Church and learned a ton of ways to read and study. But if I’m being honest, I have often felt overwhelmed by this aspect of my walk with God. There are so many things to learn and methods to use and words to absorb. I’ve done group studies, companion journals, phone apps, etc. But the problem was that if I didn’t know what steps to take, I just wouldn’t take any and my walk with God could get…still. But then I found a step I could take consistently. It’s a Bible-reading approach called D1 and it is simple. It has taken some practice, without defeating me, and has opened my path to some other steps. My goal here is not to get you to do D1. I just want you to understand that walking starts with a single step. Your next step might be D1, but it might be something else.
Maybe that step is to pray in the mornings when you open your eyes. Maybe it’s to pray with your kids every Monday before school. Maybe you need to quit. Make a call. Send an email. Get rid of something. Read a chapter. Read a verse. Get some help. I said that walking is complicated, and it is, but it is also made up of simple steps, one after another. And you can do it. There are marathons God wants you to run, but you’ll never get there unless you take the first step.