The Journey of A Thousand Miles...
There's this little plaque that I have had for a number of years and it's made it's way with me to all of the various offices I've occupied.
Engraved on the front is an oft-used quote from Lao-Tzu that goes like this:
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
I remember when I bought that plaque. It was from one of those stores where you buy plaques for your house, and fake plants, mirrors and bowls to put potpourri in.
But that little plaque spoke to me when I bought it because I felt at the time like I was at the beginning of a journey--early on in my career as a pastor. But mostly I wanted it because I longed so desperately to internalize the truth of it.
I have taken some notable first steps over the years---steps toward knowledge, experience, faith and trust. I've stepped away from comfort more than once. I've stepped forward when it didn't always make sense to do it.
I would like to say that every time I was about to take those first steps, I paused and considered the cost of where the journey would take me. I would also like to say that I took those first steps courageously.
And I would also like to say that I never stepped back and refused to move.
But none of those things would be true.
Still, there is that plaque in my office reminding me that journeys don't take themselves. And there are always excuses as to why we don't step forward and make the road by walking even when we can't see where it's going.
I read this amazing quote today from C.S. Lewis:
There are always plenty of rivals to our work... If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable.If you think you have to wait for the stars to align before you begin your journey toward health and wholeness... Or for your life to become less complicated before you begin to serve... Or if you want to be sure about your direction before moving forward in faith toward the life you long to live...
Maybe you need to just take that first step. Maybe this unfavorable moment is your moment to truly learn and grow. Maybe you need to trust that God knows the plans God has for you, and those plans are filled with hope and a future.
May this be true for you today and always. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.