The next step is always the hardest.
We don't always know where we're headed in life. We don't always even have road signs to let us know where we are, or how we ended up here.
But the next step, even a step in the dark, is the most important one you'll ever take.
But that step isn't simply a matter of direction, or destination. That step determines what remains around you, and what falls into the realm of memory.
Each step we take in life brings new hellos, and difficult goodbyes. It's hard to let go of what you've grown comfortable with. It's hard to start new.
It's hard not to know what to expect.
It occurred to me, this past week, that the beauty of travelling isn't found in things remaining the same. That's not why we travel. We travel because we crave new things. We desire to discover new frontiers, and to find what's next.
Leaving comfort, and plunging into the unknown brings all kinds of beautiful, exciting, and scary things with it. Some days you can find yourself upon a mountain top, looking down in awe, with clarity. The next day you find yourself in the badlands. Surrounded by sand and heat.
You'll meet the kind and cruel among the endless stone monoliths known as the city. You'll love, and lose. You'll ache, and heal. You'll find friends who don't disappear, but remain as real as the day you met them. But none of this is possible if you can't take that first step.
A great theologian once said that life and faith are like being in a dark room with a flashlight. We can only see so much of what God has planned, the rest is shrouded in shadow, lingering around the outermost limits of the flashlight's beam. When we step forward, we begin to see something that we couldn't see initially. Yet another step reveals another piece, and so on. I thought that was profound.
I've lived in fear of the next step my whole life, but now I see that I don't have to fear anymore. I just need to walk in what I can see, and leave the details to Him.