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One Next Step

May 11, 2018

Two things I hold dear to my heart sleep to the side of my bed: a stunning jazz bass and a draft of a book I’m writing. I rarely touch them. These two neglected loves have had so much rest lately that I guess you might say they’ve gotten better sleep than me! Surely I show some respect by dusting them off now and again. It’s hard to share that I’ve kept two of my dreams a foot from my face every night for almost 5 years now…and counting…

As these heartthrobs both sit untouched on account of “busyness”, I still admire their beauty. My blond wood Fender bass guitar with a tan leather strap beckons to be played. I remember how exhilarating it felt to pull the strings not even knowing where any notes were positioned! It just felt right. I can imagine that even greater joy is in store for me when I know the instrument better…

The book I drafted over 5 years ago sits idle for a “good time” to seek publishing. Somehow two cities and two babies later, I’ve yet to find a free season to move forward with this project. Yet, the pristine printed copy held inside a leather black binder reminds me that it exists. When I take hold of it in my hands — with the same fingers that gave my words life — not knowing where it may go, I hold onto wonder. It just feels right. I can imagine the excitement of seeing several other projects in binders waiting for me after I learn what to do with this one…

What keeps the dust collecting on these two dreams? Maybe that I’ve been too comfortable resting by them! Am I too patient to press forward? What would shake my stillness?

It’s clear now. It’s actually more simple than I’ve ever made it out to be:
Take ONE next step.

Whatever we are meant to do is simply begun by taking the next step. One move. Big or small. Do you have that step in mind for yourself? When are you planning to move on it?

The good news: One step at a time is feasible. I can manage that! After all, I’m not going on a worldwide band or book tour tomorrow! Right now, I just need to walk things out: Next step. Another step. One more step. Keep going…

Sometimes the next step is asking for help to come unstuck. In my case, I need some music lessons and more guidance in the arena of publishing. I need only one step here and one step there like I’m dancing with my destiny… until it feels right… because standing still on my dreams feels so wrong! And I don’t want to lose my footing either.

After all, what’s really holding me down?

I’ve recently discovered a bothersome voice inside of me that insists:

“You can’t keep up with your dreams!”

The truth is that voice I’ve listened to at times is a liar. Sure, the task list and days are long right now. The waking (and some sleeping) hours are full of care for others. Yet, when I listen more intently, there’s a smaller still voice that whispers:

“I’ve created you for a purpose.” That voice feels right.

In my faith journey, I’ve also seen how taking one next step keeps me moving forward. At times I’ve chosen what came next. In other seasons God chose for me. And sometimes life throws me challenges that tempt to pull me back a foot. Especially, in these critical fights for progress, do I have to choose to step forward in faith through the obstacles. I’ve come too far over much terrain to walk backwards now.

Living out your God given dream is only one step away. It may look like choosing joy by getting out of bed with a whisper of gratitude — or — as bold as starting again in a new city. (I’ve done both!) With God, what once looked impossible will become possible. We just need to take the step in faith and then keep in step because His plans are fresh each day. They don’t get dusty!

What is the next move in your spiritual journey? Make it known. Take that step.

As I look next to my bed, I see one more beloved item: my Bible! Paul, a devout follower of Jesus, says in Philippians 1:6 (NLT) to those who have spread the Good News of Christ, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

It’s my choice how I interpret this scripture for my life. I either deem this concept as important or irrelevant. Do I actually believe God will finish the good work within me that He has started? Yes, I choose to believe, to be certain of this. Then, can I place my dreams (big and small) into His loving hands as an offering? Yes, because when I loosen my grip on my wants I surrender my way to His work. Surrender is also a step. It doesn’t cause these passions to become less or lost but found in the hands of an ultimate artist who will create things of beauty in my life. For me, this feels right.

I guess God is my dance partner moving me into my destiny. I ask Him how to move and then I take one next step. He moves. I move. Whether that makes me a musician again or an author one day, only God knows. But what I do know is that wherever the path goes or the dance moves, with my lead’s direction, it will be good. He doesn’t do anything less.

What is your bass guitar or book draft — the thing that you can’t shake from your soul? And what’s the next step? Name it. Move.

Today, it’s one next step for me (or maybe a foot). I’ll  reach over and pick up that beautiful bass or beloved book. And I already know in my heart two things:

It will feel right and it will be good.

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2 Comments
  1. Great stuff! I needed that reminder.

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