You’ve likely heard it said, “The road to a mile begins with one step.” This is a simple yet profound truth that has the ability to change everything.
In life there are many times an opportunity for you to walk a mile in some arena of your life; perhaps it’s college or a wedding or a new job. Whatever the mile may be in front of you, it always begins with one step. But how many miles have you and I simply dreamed of or stared at from a distance because of that first step and a seemingly inability to fall forward and catch ourselves with our feet, which creates our first step? This is the paradox truth that we are each faced with, the opportunities of life that seem so desirable yet appear to be so far away and despite dreams and desires, there always seems to be something that prohibits us from doing what we long and oft feel called to do.
There’s an experience in which a young man named Peter has a “mile encounter” with Jesus. It’s an incredibly profound encounter that speaks to the potential of each one of our miles that lie in front of us as much as it does the simple yet complex carnality that keeps us from pursuing our miles.
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morningJesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
(Matthew 14:22-33 | NLT)
What an incredible testimony of a man who saw an opportunity in front of him and took it. It’s a story that speaks to the adventure and daringness of man’s heart, willing to take the first step to achieve a mile that otherwise might go un-walked. Yet at the same time it’s a story of struggle, of the storms of life raging around us, distracting us and keeping us from taking that next step. It’s a story of both triumph and tragedy, of hope and hopelessness and a story that exudes the need for faith in our lives in order to accomplish the greater things that God might be calling us toward.
This expression of faith or lack thereof begs two questions be considered. First, what are the miles (opportunities) in front of us and secondly, what keeps us from experiencing these miles in our lives?
Is it a lack of imagination? Maybe it’s a lack of faith in the opportunity, in the circumstances or perhaps a lack of faith in you? Whatever the case may be I am certain that God has incredible miles in front of us that if we would only make the choice to take that first step, we would experience the kind of life or opportunities that we couldn’t possibly have imagined for ourselves and for others.
Let me attempt to bring this a little clarity.
Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Mike Krzyewski, Nelson Mandela, Billy Graham: though seemingly different in nearly every way, each one of these individuals in recognized and known for doing something that none other before them or there time has ever done. These people represent the best of every mile beginning with one step in every sense of the word. They have each walked a mile that none other had walked and created a path by which any who would dare to dream and take the first step might be able to believe for themselves and achieve possibilities that otherwise not have been possible.
Imagine, for a moment, if these icons we speak of had not taken that first step. What would their lives have looked like? Would we know who they are today? Is there a possibility that our world would be the same?
Now think what your life and mine or our world would like if each one of us stepped out in faith and took the first step toward the things that God is calling us to? What could happen? What would God do both in and through you and me?
Could we find a cure for cancer or perhaps bring a resolution to global hunger? Would we be able to create clean drinking water for everyone or erase illiteracy? One thing is for certain; these are just some of the miles that remain to be walked, each one beginning with just one step. That’s the power of one step.
What will you do today, right now, in this moment to take one step closer to walking the mile in front of you?