I walked down the six steps that lead to the lower level of our house and stopped at the bottom. What I thought I was doing, what I told myself I was doing, was allowing my brain to catch up with my body before taking the next step. It seemed a natural thing to do.
Until I thought about it.
I realized that I was becoming like my dad in a way that I don’t like.
That’s going to need some explanation. I love my dad, a lot. And I’m becoming like him in some very good ways. However, a few years back, my dad had a couple of strokes. Now he walks very deliberately. He has to know that he has good footing because falling is difficult and potentially dangerous.
As I was standing at the bottom of the steps, preparing for the next step, I realized that I was showing that same kind of hesitation, that same perceived need to know where the next step is. The problem, of course, is that…
…I haven’t had a stroke.
I have very little risk of falling. I have little risk of hurting myself if I do fall. All that I accomplish by stopping is that I lose momentum.
I faced a similar hesitation a couple days after New Year’s Day. We were bowling, our family, and there was a split. Four pins, opposite sides of the alley. How do you get them all? You don’t. You just roll the ball and do your best.
I’ve been tagged with the Bucket meme, a request to develop a list of the things that I want to get done before I die, or, following the example of Cathleen, of the things I want to take serious action on in 2008. As much as I know the value of making such a list, I hesitate to plan that far in advance because of my orientation toward helping rather than doing.
So, because I’m not sure I can pick up the split of what I want to do and what others want me to do, I hesitate.
It is, of course, a false dilemma. There are, for me, always ways to pick up pins from at least one side and often from both sides. In fact, the only way to fail with a split is to roll the ball right down the middle. And there is significant loss of momentum if you wait for sure footing as if you have had a stroke.
There is a place for faith, for movement, for taking steps forward. Because most of those steps are not nearly as irrevocable as we try to make them. And a step forward, in faith, almost always provides clarity, one way or another.