Do you remember that feeling you had on the first day of school? Exhilarating excitement mixed with nervous anticipation, that could cause your stomach to churn so tumultuously that even Captain Crunch couldn’t draw you to the breakfast table. The excitement of putting on that new pair of shoes, carrying that brand new lunch box (it was a pink Barbie one for me), and strapping on that new back pack that held freshly sharpened pencils and a brand new pink eraser, would never have been fulfilled were it not for me taking steps through the nervousness, walking through that classroom door, and sitting in that desk with my name tag on it.
Fast forward 40+ years, and I find myself with those very same feelings. Instead of the new backpack and the lunch pail, I’m hanging up bulletin boards and preparing charts with classroom rules and procedures. Instead of carrying sharpened pencils in my pencil box, I am sharpening the pencils for the students who will come into my classroom. The only comparison that still is intact is, I will still be wearing a new pair of shoes. Yes, I still love those shoes! But, instead of my mom holding my hand and encouraging me through my nervousness, it is my God and His voice that urges me on and gives me the strength to follow His leading to this new chapter and opportunity. To “move on and don’t look back.”
Exodus 15:2 says,
“The LORD is my strength.”
The Lord is my strength when I’m too scared to move forward and want to stay stuck. The Lord is my strength when I don’t want to turn and face the unknown and I’d rather stay comfortable where I am. The Lord is my strength when I move forward to meet new people, when my tendency would be to stay with those I already know. And ultimately, the Lord is my strength to move blindly into the next chapter of His story for my life, rather than remain where I am, and leave it unwritten.
You may have heard the baseball phrase; “You can’t steal second with your foot on first.”
Unless we are willing to take our feet out of the place we now stand, and turn in the direction of our next opportunity, that opportunity will never come. You can’t score at home plate, if you don’t leave first and round all the bases. Ultimately, “home” represents our eternal life with our Heavenly Father. That is our ultimate goal. You can get to first base by faith in Jesus, and yes, you are “on the team”. But you can’t score unless you run through all the bases. You’ll still go to Heaven, yes, but you won’t score for your team. You might get paralyzed and never move on to second or third base because you’re stuck in your comfort zone, and fearful that leaving first base might result in you getting out.
Fear cannot be your ruler. God has a great race for you and me to run! It is His pathway around the bases, and He will show you when it is time to take your foot off first base and start running fast. It requires faith and trust on your part, that if you take off and sprint toward second, and then third, He will meet you, empower you and guide you to those bases along His path until you make it home.
Don’t hold on to what you have, just because it is comfortable. First base is a good start, but remember, it is just that: a start. There is more ahead!
Jeremiah 33:3 says,
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
So, don’t let the nervousness of moving on to something new and unknown stop you from moving forward. God calls us to trust Him and move forward in the direction He is calling us to.
Never let the fear of crossing into the unknown keep you from going where you know God is calling!
Taking that first step is always the most frightening part. But just as I was affirmed when I was a little girl, that going to the next grade and a new classroom meant being received by my teacher and meeting new friends, I have already seen God blessing this present step of faith in my life. I have an incredible co teacher on my 4th grade team! She embraced me on my first day there, and has continued to walk me through the necessary steps to make this year successful. I already have a new friend and teammate that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t take that step of faith. The unknown is frightening, simply because we haven’t experienced it yet. But imagine: if you continued eating vanilla ice cream all your life, because that is what your mom started you off with when you were a child, and you never allowed yourself to experience decadent chocolate, or ooey gooey peanut butter, smooth and creamy caramel, and all of the other delicious flavors? God is a good, good Father, and He wants you to experience every flavor available to you in this wonderful life He has given to you!
I appreciate your prayers for me as I continue to take my foot off what I have known and step into the “new” that God has for me. What about you? Where is God calling you to step? Where is your second base? I will pray that God will show you where that is, and give you the strength to step off first and start running! We are in this race together!