One Step at at Time
He said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
While out hiking in the mountains recently, we got a glimpse early on of our destination, which appeared to be a ridiculously long way off. At that moment, the goal seemed like it was simply too far away. I thought, That’s too far. We should just turn around and go get something to eat. But, since no one wanted to appear lazy, we kept on. We hiked, one step at a time, talking, laughing, and having a good time, and the next time we saw our goal, it was a lot closer. It was amazing how something that seemed so far off was attainable, simply by taking one step after another in the right direction. When we arrived, it was of course worth it, except that we could see how far we still had to go to get back.
This reminded me of how I felt when I first attempted recovery. I saw those who had five years sober and I just felt hopeless. I wanted that, but it was so far off that I couldn’t comprehend getting there myself. I realized that at the end of my life, I wanted to be able to look back at decades of successful recovery. I just didn’t know how to accomplish that.
I had this same thought when I read today’s passage. At the end of his life, as horrible as his death was, Jesus exhaled his last breath knowing that he’d done the father’s will. He could look back, not in shame, but in peace that he’d perfectly lived out his life purpose. It is finished. I’m not worried about being crucified, but I too, would like to be able to look back on my life, knowing that I’d lived as I was meant to live. When first attempting to recover however, that just seemed like an impossible dream.
Someone wise told me back then though, that I didn’t have to worry about staying sober for the rest of my life. All I had to do was to stay sober today. I thought, I can do that. So, I set out to find my faith and recovery, one day at a time. Just like in the mountains, as I’ve looked back, it’s incredible to see how far God has brought me, following him one step at a time.
God doesn’t ask us to do the impossible. He does ask us to do what it takes to abandon ourselves and follow him today. In taking one step at a time, he accomplishes the impossible in us.