It is finally hitting me that I will be going away soon. I will be moving to the Norfolk Coast and living on my own. It’s only a few seasons away. This is no longer a vague concept, and it feels more real each day.
My to-do list this weekend is full of prep for the future. I’m starting to update my CV. I’m applying for some volunteer work that I’m very excited to do. My attitude is starting to change. I am in the process of heading towards a new season and for the first time, I am beginning to feel excited. My restless spirit is being let off of a leash and I’m moving forward. I’m moving forward.
To have the ability to move forward is an important concept to me. Especially since I have wasted so much of my life looking back or becoming stuck, I have finally realised that I need to move forward. Even if I don’t know what the next step is.
To take the first step is difficult. It is challenging to step into the shadowy unknown. Sometimes, our first steps aren’t signposted. Oswald Chambers (1935) said this in his devotional My Utmost for His Highest;
‘When you have no vision from God, no enthusiasm left in your life, and no one watching or encouraging you, it requires grace of Almighty God to take the first step in devotion to Him,’
There is an old hymn that says, grace has kept me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. I’m reminded that grace keeps my feet moving forward, even when I feel stuck. A process of plotting is happening, and the story has only begun.
The story continues in the action of the next step. I know that as I take a step, that the step will lead on to another step. No matter where I go or what I do, Jesus will show me where I need to be. ‘Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying “This is the way, walk in it”, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left’ (Isaiah 30:21). The way will open up as I simply walk. I must walk, otherwise I might become stuck again and I cannot be stuck again.
I want to take the next step now. I want to keep moving forward, even if it’s only me and even if no one sees. I think again of Oswald Chambers (1935),
‘The thing that really testifies for God and for the people of God in the long run is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others. And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live by looking at God’.
Here comes the next step. I can’t see anything else yet: but you know what? I’m going to take it anyways.
Chambers, O. [(1935) 1992] My Utmost for His Highest; An Updated Edition in Today’s Language, ‘ Taking The Next Step’ March 6, Dodd, Mead & Company/ Oswald Chambers Publications Association