Take the Next Step

Take the Next Step:  choosing to move forward, making progress, leaving the past behind

The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.  Chinese Proverb

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.  George Shinn

  Progress is made by going forward. Setbacks occur when we go backward. A well known adage talks about taking two steps forward and one step backwards. Life seems to be made up of taking steps forward combined with the steps that take us backwards. Sometimes we seem to take more steps backwards than we do forwards. Sometimes we seem to be in full retreat mode. There are times where we find ourselves losing our footing and sliding down the slippery slope. It is easy to get down and depressed as we look and realize we are going backward instead of forward. We should always remember it is up to us to help change things for the better.

    When we stop and think. It is pie in the sky to think that things never go wrong, that we will never suffer misfortune, trials or tribulation or experience the curveballs that life throws at us. It is easy to forget that many if not most of our problems are self-inflicted. Part of taking the next step is acknowledging and facing up to the consequences of the unwise, poor and bad decisions we have made along the way. Sometimes it may just have been that bad luck just happened our way or we got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

     What happens; happens. What matters is deciding to be proactive about our circumstances. Some never recover from setbacks. Others are adversely affected for long periods. We need to get back on our feet and do whatever it takes to take the next step forward. Self pity, whining, blaming; all are easy but counterproductive. Nothing positive or worthwhile comes from this. If we want to do something to improve our circumstances, reverse our reversals, and change things for the better, it is up to us to do something that moves us forward. We do this by picking ourselves up, sticking out our chin, straightening our shoulders, taking deep breaths, fixing eyes forward and then taking a step forward. Once we have taken one step of action our comeback has begun.

    Nothing will happen to improve our circumstances until we take responsibility. We must foster our resources, focus our attention, gather our resolve, find some discipline, motivation and enthusiasm, and take that next step forward. We will have overcome the inertia of inaction and we will find ourselves moving forward.

Challenge: Are there steps you need to take but are reluctant to take them? Are you avoiding taking the next step of action toward something requiring your attention? Have you lost your momentum and find yourself accepting of current circumstances? Perhaps it is time for you to take that next step. There are victories and successes out there waiting for you. Get yourself going, shake off the dust of inaction; take that next step.

Wisdom: Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently. William Arthur Ward

Spiritual: (NIV)

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5, 6

In many respects, taking the next step is an act of faith. Failure to act or move forward reinforces doubt and uncertainty and prevents us from moving forward. God put us here to use our talents and gifts to become the best that we can become, helping others as we do so, and making the world a better place as a result. If we will reach out to him, taking that next step toward him, he will reach out to us and help us to move forward.

Prayer: Help me have the faith to be willing to continue to take the necessary steps forward.

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