Have you ever been ready to move forward with something, but you just can’t get started?
Maybe you want to start a business, but the first step feels daunting. You might want to ask out the pretty woman at the coffee shop, but saying “hi” feels unbearable. Perhaps you joined one of those Crossfit gyms where everyone already looks great.
There’s something about taking a first step that feels scary.
Is it fear of the unknown? Perhaps fear of getting hurt? Maybe it’s fear of taking a step in the wrong direction.
Those are all legitimate fears.
But I’ve learned that fear and faith are two sides of the same coin. In any situation you can point your mind in the direction of fear, or point your mind in the direction of faith. The choice is yours.
Fear assumes the worst.
Faith assumes the best.
Fear is like a black hole.
Faith is link a sun.
Fear consumes energy.
Faith contributes energy.
Fear shrinks back, hoping to just survive.
Faith leans forward, determined to thrive.
When we step out and take a first step, why do we usually default to fear? (Or is it just me?)
The Girl On The Escalator
A couple weeks ago I was walking through the mall, er excuse me, the “Town Center”. (Seriously, developers are calling malls everything except malls nowadays. In my town we have Town Centers, Fashion Parks, Shopping Centers, Outlets, Villages, but no malls! Just call it a mall!)
Anyways, I was walking through a Town Center a couple weeks ago. It was an outdoor mall, and the weather on this Thursday was particularly unruly. Too warm to wear a jacket but too cold to not wear a jacket. Honestly, it was a good vest-wearing day. But I don’t really wear vest unless I’m directing traffic or hunting (I do neither).
The store I was trying to find was on the second floor, so I located the escalators. As I approached I see a mom and her daughter at the bottom.
In case you didn’t know, escalators can be pretty scary for 3 year olds to walk onto. This girl was apparently not skilled in the “stepping onto the escalator” category.
Watching carefully, the mom encouraged and guided the girl toward the escalator. Each time the girl began to step onto it she would pull back because the escalator doesn’t stop.
“Can’t stop. Won’t stop,” says the escalator.
The little girl had not yet mastered the art of the first step. She was scared to step onto the escalator.
I watched from a distance to see how this whole thing would play out. Is the girl going to get on the escalator? Is fear going to win this time? Or will mom just pick her daughter up so I can hop on?
But that’s how life is sometimes, isn’t it? We feel like we’re not big enough or fast enough or smart enough or just… enough. The first step feels impossible.
Here’s the best part, though.
If the girl finally takes the first step the scariest part is done. In fact, as soon as she plants both feet onto the escalator step it will take her the rest of the way!
Your faith to take the first step is the key ingredient in a successful journey. I’ve seen in my life over and over again that once I take a first step in the direction of faith life tends to carry me further that I could have ever gone on my own.
Fortune favors the bold. And faith favors the first step.Fortune favors the bold. And faith favors the first step.Click To Tweet
Unfortunately, we’ve all seen too many people live mediocre lives only because they were too afraid to take the first step.
If you feel stuck in your job right now, stuck in a relationship, stuck in your finances, or generally stuck in your life, it’s often because there’s a step you need to take. You’re letting fear hold back your first step. Faith and favor are on the other side of the first step.
Life is encouraging us to take just one step of faith into the direction of our dreams. Once we do, life starts to open doors, things start to fall in place. Hard work is baked into all of it, to be sure. But when you combine faith with hard work you can do anything.
I heard one pastor say it like this, “Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God.” (Mark Batterson)
WORK like it depends on you. PRAY like it depends on God.
— Mark Batterson (@MarkBatterson) August 8, 2014
How To Take Your First Step
Okay, let’s get practical now. Faith can be one of those things that can feel abstract for some. I’m not just talking about faith in a Higher Power (although that’s certainly part of life too).
Faith is simply believing, or putting your trust in, a certain foundation for your way forward. When you decide to take your first step in an uncertain direction, you’re deciding that you believe this is your direction forward. You are putting your faith in that path.
So how do we take the first step even when it feels so impossible sometimes?
This is the process I use when life requires me to take a first step.
1. Pray about your options
2. Make a decision
3. Accept the potential risks & consequences
4. Take the first step
5. Don’t look back
The more you put off taking the first step, the HARDER it becomes. You’re most likely to take your impossible first step as soon as it presents itself to you. Thinking about often just lets fear grow and hold you back.
P.S. that girl never did step onto the escalator. Fear held her back from moving up a level that day. You don’t have to suffer that fate! Take your first step today and elevate your life to the next level!