Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Before we get too far from Christmas, let's look back on this verse - in the Old King James Version of course because that is the way we first heard and probably memorized this story (and it's also the way Linus quotes it in A Charlie Brown Christmas...

"And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered." (Luke 2:6)

I've been snared by that phrase "the days were accomplished." Having been pregnant myself, I know what it feels like waiting until the days are accomplished: near the end they s-l-o-w down and s-t-r-e-t-c-h way out. Apparently I'm not so good with "going the distance."

I became very aware of this during an unexpected adventure on a recent trip. I'd hiked down the Waimea Canyon about a 1/2 mile, and when I say down, I mean down into the canyon - it seemed there weren't three level steps together. And now it was time for the trip back up.

After a few minutes I realized that I was never going to make it - there was no way, after all that hiking down, that I had enough energy to hike up and out.

But I didn't have a choice; I had to keep putting one foot in front of, or above in some cases, the other and eventually get out. I had to keep going until I was at the end of the trail. There were no shortcuts, no other way out - it wouldn't be over until it was.

When I am in the midst of something, I want a way out, a shortcut, to hurry things up so that it's over. I've realized that sometimes it just won't be over until it is over - until the days or the purpose are accomplished. There's nothing I can do about the situation, or trial, or test, other than just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

As I was struggling once through a hardship, I was told, "you'll get through this." What a lousy piece of advice, I thought. What if I don't? I can't catch my breath and my heart is beating so hard it hurts, and I'm not strong enough! How can you blithely say "you'll get through this"?

Although at the time those words didn't bring me strength or comfort, they are true. You will get through this, at some point the days will be accomplished and this will be over.

It's not much, but there is much to be said for just continuing to put one foot in front of the other. That's how progress is made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reading this I am reminded of the old "FOOTPRINTS" story. "Lord you said you would never leave me, yet when I look back I only see one set of footprints in the sand. And the Lord said to him, "my son I didn't leave you, when you got tired , I picked you up and carried you the rest of the way" So just when you thought you weren't able to hike back up the hard trail, maybe it was the Lord who carried your tired body the rest of the way