Neil Armstrong’s words are immortalised in history: “Just one small step for man, one great leap for mankind.” NASA held its collective breath as Armstrong left the comfort of the lunar landing module to step on the moon for the first time. No-one knew what to expect. Despite all the careful planning, the drills, the exercise and discipline associated with preparing for such a mission, there was still the uncertainty as to whether the lunar landing module or the astronauts would simply sink into metres of moon dust, or walk safely on the surface.
It is that unknown moment that forms the basis of the step of faith. Where we reach out beyond where we feel comfortable, and launch into something which is either altogether new, or simply taking us into a separate area for which we were always preparing, but never there. And no matter how well we plan, how well we out beyond where we feel comfortable, and launch into something which is either altogether new, or simply taking us into a separate area for which we were always preparing, but never there. And no matter how well we plan, how well we consider what might be ahead, there is the moment(s) of uncertainty as we finally take the step of commitment.
For all our talk about being people of faith, there is that voice within us calling us to security – inviting us to remain with what we know, tempting us to rest in what has already been achieved, rather than pressing on in the call of God. I am constantly battling the temptation to sit where it is comfortable rather than move into God’s promised, yet still-to-be-fulfilled future. Yet I am encouraged when I share with others and know that I am not alone in such an attitude. I am also encouraged when I hear the stories of how some of these took the ‘step of faith’ and how they learned and grew through it. I am also chastened when I hear stories of regret from those who held back, considering the next step too great.
When we follow Jesus we are constantly confronted with the invitation to take that next step of faith. May God grant us wisdom, insight and courage to keep following…
July 18, 1999
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