Live Between the Steps
There’s a built-in danger in goal-setting. What is it? It’s believing we’ll only be happy when we reach those goals. We tell ourselves, ‘When I graduate, get married, have children, own my own home’, and so on, so we keep postponing life.
A university professor tells of being invited to speak at a military base and meeting a soldier named Ralph at the airport. After they introduced themselves they headed towards baggage claim. As they walked through the airport Ralph kept disappearing, once to help an older woman whose suitcase had fallen open, once to lift up two toddlers so they could see Father Christmas, and again to give directions to someone who was lost. Each time he came back with a big smile on his face. ‘Where did you learn to live like that?’ the professor asked. ‘Oh,’ Ralph said, ‘during the war, I guess.’ Then he told the professor about his last tour-of-duty, how it was his job to detect mines, and how he watched his friends blown up before his eyes, one after another. ‘I learned to live between steps,’ he said. ‘I never knew whether the next step would be my last, so I learned to get everything I could out of the moment between when I picked up my foot and put it down again. Every step I took was a whole new world, and I guess I’ve been living that way ever since.’ Ralph had it right! To get the most out of living we must live by the Scripture: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’