Take the Next Step

1stqtr07 554Choosing 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 means going forward. Setbacks occur as we go backward. A well known adage talks about taking two steps forward and one step backwards. Life is 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 lose our footing and slide down the slippery slope. It is easy to get down and very depressed on those occasions where we realize we are going backward instead of forward. We should remember it takes a attitude of being proactive to have what it takes to get and keep going forward.

    When we stop and think. It is pie in the sky to think that things will 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 be that bad luck just happens to come our way or we get 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 natural 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 take just 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 will find ourselves moving forward again.

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 too 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

His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Isaiah 28:26

In many respects, taking the next step is simply 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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