Step By Step

January 22, 2002
by Ruth McCowan

Psalm 25:4-5 – Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long. (NIV)

This past summer, while we were on holidays, my children challenged me to climb up a forty-foot climbing wall. Wall climbing is not normally an activity that I would choose, but I did not want to disappoint my children, so I rose to the challenge. There must be a little button that gets pushed inside parents, when their children set a challenge for them.

As I watched other parents taking this challenge, I noticed that as they climbed the wall, often the best they could do was just to concentrate on the next handhold or footrest. It was really one step at a time. It was interesting to see how the watchers would try to help the climbers. Sometimes the perspective from below could give better insight as to where the climber should go, so the watchers would yell, "Put your right foot on the blue ring," or, "Put your left hand on the yellow ring." I couldn't help drawing a parallel to our walk in faith. Isn't this our call as a community of believers — to support those who are having difficulty in their climb in life, or in faith?

There are other parallels as well. Often, when we begin the journey, which sometimes seems to be straight up, we may try to map out the way we should go to get to our destination, but something happens once we are up there, and we have to change direction. We have to change our plan. Maybe our plan wasn't what God intended for us. When that happens, it's always difficult, but if we can stay focused on the next step, then we can often change direction without falling. However, if we do fall, and if we have not forgotten to put on our climbing gear, prayer, faith, hope, love, grace, and perseverance, then God, who holds us in His love, will be there to catch us, and to help us get back on the wall again.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for holding us and supporting us when we are not sure if we can carry on. Thank you for our faithful friends who are there to encourage and support us in our journey. Help us today to take the steps that we need to take in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author:

Ruth McCowan <>
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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