By Josh Bundy
“Take a step,” I told myself and watched to see if my foot would comply. I was quickly becoming overwhelmed by the task of climbing out of the Grand Canyon. Hot. Heavy. Drenched outwardly; dehydrated inwardly. Nothing was going as it was supposed to. I was stuck.
Getting stuck was easy. We loaded our bags with 60+ pounds of water, food, and gear (a mistake of overdoing it that I am prone to in life) and began the long slow descent over red rocks and high drops. It was exhilarating. Fulfilling. Wild.
Then the real work began, for which skills are more important than things. Locating water. Pumping and filtering the water. Locating the trail across bare rock. Recognizing cairns and correctly interpreting them. Getting up after a tumble on loose shale. Continuing on after a sting from a wasp, disturbed out of his nest in the ground, my arm and hand swollen against his sting and the persistent sun. My two companions were equally worn down. We dumped excess food in the Colorado River. We considered dumping extra clothes but our “leave no trace” value won out. We pressed on.
We all do this, don’t we? Get stuck? Whether we have launched into a relationship with too much unresolved baggage or slipped into numbing ourselves with a drink leading to the trap of addiction or plunged into a “can’t miss” financial venture only to come out short on cash and long on debt… we have all gotten stuck. This can lead to malaise. Loss of passion. Loss of hope. Perhaps quitting.
But God calls us to “press on.”
Forgetting what is behind. Straining toward what is ahead. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
So, the questions to you are: Where are you stuck and what step is God offering to you?
Maybe for you it is time to “return to your practice” of faith-growing skills like Bible reading and prayer. Perhaps you are exploring Covenant and it is time to take the first steps of discovery through Connecting Point and Discovering Covenant. Hopefully, for many, it is time to step into community life by joining or recommitting to a group. Groups are the platform for connection to others who are also listening to God’s call to “press on.” For some, it is time to take a big step into discipleship by receiving the training to become a leader or apprentice leader of groups. This is the perfect time to train to be a leader as we are offering that opportunity on January 10.
Sometimes art and lyrics can say it best. Because of the life stage of our family, I’m often subject to the music from Disney’s Frozen and Frozen 2. (Pray for me!) Frequently, when stuck, I now hear the voice of Anna (Kristen Bell) singing, “Take a step, step again… it is all that I can… to do the next right thing.” And here is the thing: this is timeless truth. Not because Disney says it and not because I had to lift foot after weary foot to escape the Grand Canyon, but because God has ordained that we are to “press on.”
So, join me. Don’t look too far ahead (that can be too much). Break it down to the next breath, the next step, the next choice God has given you to make. Let’s take a step together into 2021 where God is still faithful and sovereign and calling us forward.