We all know the saying, based on an ancient Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The idea is simple: No matter how little or how much road you have to cover, you will never get there without taking that first step out your door.
In today’s world, we know all about the “thousand miles” part, don’t we? Those are the hours and hours of preparation for your work presentation; the loads and loads of laundry; the never-ending stream of emails; the inexhaustible list of demands and needs and tasks.
It can certainly be exhausting! Even the tasks or projects that we enjoy (decorating for Christmas? taking a vacation?) often involve a daunting list of “to do’s.” And they don’t always look like a neat and tidy sequence of progressive steps, either. If this journey through life begins with a single step, which step do we take first?
God has an answer. The Bible says, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him” (Colossians 2:6). Do you hear that? Step A is already taken for you! The first step, the first thing “to do,” has already been accomplished by Christ. By taking on our sin and dying in our place on the cross, Jesus wiped out our guilt, brought us into harmony with God, and set up permanent residence in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. You have received Christ. First step: check!
Now on to the next step. God’s Word tells us to “walk in him” (Colossians 2:6). Hmmm, you might be thinking. Couldn’t he have been a little more specific? Couldn’t he have said whether I should focus on my family or my career first? Or pointed out the particular area of ministry where I can do the most good?
As much as you and the people in your ministry might be eager for a detailed map for your journey, this “walk in him” is all we need. These words are not a command; they’re a gift. We get to walk with our Lord. Whichever path you are taking, Jesus is the perfect travel companion. When we take our steps with him—when we walk in him—the thousand miles of our personal journey can be filled with the peace and joy he gives us.
Excerpted from CTA’s Stepping Out with Jesus Leader’s Retreat Planning Guide