My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 (TMSG)
I was attending a conference in the Florida coastal panhandle city of Pensacola years ago, and took a short drive in the afternoon around town to clear my head before the evening’s session with 3,000 preachers. (One MUST clear one’s head at such times!)
Wandering through an older, run-down part of the city, I stopped for a red light, and, while waiting for the light to change I looked to one side of the street and took note of the vacant lot with stone steps to nowhere! Evidently it had been quite a few years since there’d been a home on that spot; the lot was overgrown and starkly-bare amongst the other houses squeezed onto tiny yards.
But it was the lettering on the steps to nowhere that caught my eye – a message in white paint, crafted by someone this city block had perhaps long forgotten. Starting at the bottom, someone had hand-lettered three words on the concrete blocks that were the steps to nowhere; they read: Chappie’s First Steps.
I not only wondered all that afternoon and evening about just who this fellow Chappie is/was, I’ve been wondering about it for 25 years.
The possibilities are endless.
That now-vacant lot could have been a young-Chappie’s first home…he actually bought or built a first set of steps to his homestead.
Chappie could’ve been a toddler who took his very first steps on that spot, and a proud parent just had to memorialize the moment.
He could have been someone born with legs that didn’t work, and then they did work through either a miracle of surgery, or a miracle from another, higher Source. Like Jacob meeting God on the trail, he had to pile some stones up to mark place of God.
He could have been someone who made a remarkable turnaround from one of life’s awful choices – drugs, alcohol, family abuse, financial ruin, jail – and this is where his life began again.
It could have been a new venture of business or romance or a New Year’s resolution.
It could have been any of a myriad of first steps.
I like to think it was all of these; I love stories of success. Many of them give the credit to a God who helps us turn from where we’ve been going – towards something wholesome, worthy and important to venerate.
It is always the first step that begins any journey. Chappie did something in Pensacola. It felt like I was on “holy ground” waiting in my car at that traffic light. Chappie decided, either as a toddler, or an adult turn-arounder, that learning season was over and the “doing season” had arrived…he took the first steps.
What has God been teaching you?
Are there some “first steps” that have your name on them?
Could be an exciting journey!