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One Step, One Decision, One Challenge at a Time

When we travel, we tend to plan. That's just good old-fashioned thinking ahead. We may not know exactly what each leg of the journey will look like, but it's important to know that at Copperfield Street we'll take a left, then a right past Fred's Furniture, then another right and a left at the old apple tree outside the city limits, and so on.

We're planners. It's a human trait, and a part of it resonates with all of us, even those of us who may not view ourselves that way. We are not animals who exist only in the present—the future is a very real part of our thoughts. It dictates many of our choices in day-to-day life. We worry about it. We predict it. We prepare for it.

And we like to know how to get there.

In navigating the path of life, we often pray for God's guidance, that He would show us where we're going, and give us directions. We don't like flying blind. We don't like riding the open road, taking each day as it comes. We want to know where we're going, how and when to steer, how long it's going to take—the details.

In Acts 9, Saul of Tarsus, infamous persecutor of the early church, is called by Jesus himself while on route to his next target, Damascus. Not only does Jesus show Saul exactly how real and how risen he is, but allows Saul to ask the oh-so-relatable question: "Lord, what wilt thou have me do?"

How many times have we breathed the same words in our prayers for direction and clarity? And how many times have we longed for clear-cut, comprehensive answers?

I imagine that a clear-cut, comprehensive answer was exactly what Saul was seeking. He was just as human as we are; like us, he wanted to know where his future was taking him. But Jesus didn't give him the map to his calling. He just gave him the next step: "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."

I found this to be a much-needed reminder of our role on this Christian journey—a role that does not include navigation. As much as we long to know all of the exact steps we must take to reach our perfectly-crafted futures, God doesn't always operate that way. If we have all the answers so far in advance, it doesn't force us to depend upon Him for direction at every crossroad; it doesn't cause us to turn to Him for instruction when the route becomes unclear.

Like with Saul, God wants to nurture a relationship of reliance, trust, and focus on Him, and that means He holds our futures safely in His hand, knowing just how much we can handle before being overwhelmed. He gives us direction as we need it, as we can bear it. Step by step. Mile by mile. Course-correction by course-correction. One step, one decision, one challenge at a time. The rest is safe in His hands.

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