It’s silent, except for the ocean waves crashing on the beach thirteen stories below. In this quiet I rise and watch the 5 a.m. sky break into soul-igniting pink from the balcony. I’m not sleepy, but I feel weary.
This morning I feel old. I feel overwhelmed by all the things I want to accomplish— in this morning, in this day, in this month and in my life. The warm and faithful sun rises and I feel the temptation I’ve felt so many times before: to run away from the tasks in front of me. I’m tired before I’ve even begun.
My eyes wander to the beach below and there I see her. Alone on this stretch of beach, I can see the top of her greying head look out toward the water. She stands at the end of the boardwalk, right on the edge where the walk meets the sand.
And then it happens— she moves her cane and steps out on the sand. The morning sun continues to rise and she takes a few more slow and painstaking steps. Each step is guided out by a cane.
She’s alone. No family or friends guiding her by the arm. No one on the beach for half a mile on either side. But she doesn’t stop stepping out towards the lapping waves.
It’s a long walk. And every once in awhile she stops, and looks out at the water, as if to assess how far she has yet to go.
She is weak and slow and alone, but she is steady and faithful.
And then for the next half hour I watch her step toward her goal. Pink shirt fluttering in the breeze, matching the sky above, she is a woman who understands that some goals are worth taking pain-steps for.
I look down at my laptop.
Because the truth is, the things God calls us to are always worth any painful steps it may take to get there.
When I get overwhelmed I flee.
I hate to fail, so I choose the path of the coward and do nothing instead.
So often I’m that servant of God who buries his talent underground, instead of being faithful with the little I’ve received.
Instead of taking wobbly steps forward, knowing only an ocean of grace waits to welcome me into its arms.
Waves crash and I look, and she's made it. There's no fanfare about it. Just a simple gaze across the ocean, waves lapping at her feet. I sit down and start to work. Simple words written on a simple page.
Practicing my first steps of faithfulness.