You know what I love? The simple truth that one plus one equals two.
And two plus one equals three. And after awhile, adding one can be a thousand, a million, a trillion. The power of one.
“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ( Lao-Tzu) You know what else? It ends with a single step. One step at a time. One plus one plus one…equals a thousand miles.
Do you know why I love this simple truth? Because currently there’s a huge mountain ahead. It didn’t just pop up out of nowhere but has been building, growing, and is now right there in front of me. But today, I’m choosing to not focus on the mountain. I will focus on the one step I need to take right now. One step. One teeny tiny step which I will be determined to take.
There are those in our lives who will daily remind us of the enormity of the mountain in front of us. Or what, in their view, may have put it there. They will point at the mountain and say, “how big”, or point at you and your inadequacies and say, “how small”. There are those who will want to figure out all of the whys so that this doesn’t happen again. (There’s such a place for that, such a place, but not always right when one is doing all they can to muster the next step in this journey over the mountain.) Somehow, the mountain can grow larger and larger in one’s sight when viewed through the eyes of another.
On the other hand, there are those who will minimize the mountain. Or state that the mountain is deserved and should have been seen awhile back. Maybe so. The fact that you’ve been fighting the presence of this mountain for a long time has absolutely no bearing on their view. Somehow, those who minimize the task and enormity of what is being required, also make the mountain climb appear more difficult.
But then, there are those who will walk alongside a mountain climber. They are with you in the journey. Talking or being quiet, their presence and awareness of what you are going through in the moments of the climb are gifts that encourage. They see the sweat, tenacity, determination, and stumbles. I love that. I think there are times in life when all of us are climbing enormous mountains that may or may not be seen by those around us. Amazing what a difference the presence of a friend, mere presence, makes in being able to take the next necessary step.
So, do you know what I love? That sometimes, one plus one equals so much more than two, because the strength and encouragement that is shared makes all the difference in whether the one or two are able to take the next step.
So to my fellow mountain climbers out there, please hear this. Let those trusted few in to be with you in the climb. We need each other. Period. We just do. There are those who want to be with you in the journey, but may need to be invited to join on in. There’s a time for going it alone, but there are also times when we so very much need each other.
I’ve climbed a ‘mountain’ or two… I haven’t always made it to the top gracefully, or joyfully, or unscathed, but I’ve still got it in me to climb. What I’m most thankful for is the truth that, bottom line, we don’t know what’s ahead, but God so does. We may see a huge mountain ahead, and God could tear it down in a heartbeat. So often, we think we know what’s ahead, but often times there are twists and turns that we never would’ve seen coming. Never in a million years. So don’t lose heart if there’s a mountain ahead, just keep pressing on, moving forward with one step plus one step plus one step.
One of my favorite visuals in The Word of God is in Psalm 119. In verse 105, it says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” His Word, like a light, is there for each and every individual step. We may want a huge flood light to show us all that’s ahead, but the Word of God encourages us to keep on keeping on right where we are in the minute we’re in. It shines light on that one step, and dispels the darkness in the moment when we need awareness, comfort, and vision. One step at a time.
Oh, and if that ‘mountain’ ahead is so incredibly huge, don’t forget that God is so in the ‘mountain moving’ business. (Matthew 17:20) He knows the path we should take, and so often it seems that those mountains are allowed in our lives so that we will so see our need for Him and His Presence in our lives for this ‘journey’ called life. It’s so not about a ‘destination’ is it? I believe it’s so about what we do and Who we turn to, and who we walk alongside in our journey. I love that nothing is wasted. Not one teeny tiny step.
A few verses I just couldn’t resist sharing :
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all of your ways and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6
“In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
“Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.…” Psalm 37: 24
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~ Matthew 17:20