A Million Steps

May I challenge you to a million steps?

Will you be moved by my provocation?

Or, simply sigh and say, “I have done that countless times!”

The fact is, most of us have. We just weren’t counting, though. And…we didn’t do it all in one very long walk!

An average million steps is approximately 500 miles. Some of you have done it by simply every day life, and over a  course of a few years: you have your million steps. Others are on their feet all day working, and others do a daily walk or hike–and just live life in motion and they may have their million a little faster.

We do get our million steps in. I have a few times over as one who has been a walker and hiker for years.

But, if I were to have asked you to sign a pledge and get it done via commitment, would you be more or less likely to get in the 500 miles and accomplish the million step challenge?

Every goal needs a workable deadline. Yes, it can be readjusted with major life changes or re-worked to accommodate days where we make other choices–like double-timing it the next day.

To succeed at reaching our desired and needed goals, how about setting yourself up with a deadline. I used to think I was so undisciplined that the only way I could get something done was by having a crunch time: a deadline with an “or-else” factor.

The issue wasn’t that I was undisciplined–though that may be the case, but rather it is a means to work with my personality type. There really should never be guilt in learning to work within our style. We do well to understand how to work with ourselves, like learning how to work with a busy four year old. Understanding, techniques, and loads of grace should be lent towards ourselves as we bite off big challenges. There is no harm in going for the ascent up the mountain!

Tell me, where is your mountain, what does it look like, and when will you climb it? If you want to walk in the daylight there are only so many hours till sunset.

There is your deadline: sunset.

sunset photo

Stirring the Waters

Untangling things is not a favorite activity of mine. Cords, Christmas lights, nets, shoelaces, hoses–none are better from my touch. Just look at my vacuum and you will understand.

Yet, writing is a process of untangling thoughts, concepts, revelations which I actually enjoy, though, it can be frustrating and time-consuming; it would be easier to simply abandon the thoughts alongside the road and see if someone else may pick them up and do the untangling work. Yet you who write, or who should be writing, understand that each of us carries our own perspective and a certain responsibility to write our own words.

I have a very symbolic visual of this blog’s title: Stirring the Waters and I will get to that a bit later.

The scriptures that brought these thoughts to me are John 5:6 and on. These scriptures are a hot-bed of implications and to some controversial–concerning the waters, etc. The actual pool(s) have been identified. They were not natural pools but man constructed. People would come or be brought in the chance that they may be healed as the waters were stirred (or troubled) by angels’ wings.

The subject (man) of this scripture was poolside, waiting for the angels to stir the waters which would bring healing (or a touch from God). Yet, he was not capable of getting in the waters himself; he needed help. When the waters were stirred it must have been a mad rush to get into the waters, therefore he had never made it into the waters in time, without anyone to assist him or the ability to do so on his own.

Jesus saw this man and no doubt He had compassion and understanding. He asked him if he wanted to be well. Not everyone does you know–and I am not just talking physically. It is far easier to stay in our current conditions, the “knowns” in our lives than to be thrust forward and out of our comfort zones–no matter how uncomfortable or dissatisfied in our current state we may be. We have all been there one way or another and most of us still have some areas where we settle for the known for various reasons.

This man did what most of us would have done. He offered in reply to Jesus’ question, “Yes, but no one has helped me and others get in the way…” That sounds familiar doesn’t it? We all have excuses and not just excuses–what that man said was true and had been his valid experiences. But this man, he wanted to be well. So, Jesus said, “Take up your mat then, and walk.” And he did. This was the recorded miracle of the Pool of Bethesda.

My mind keeps shifting to the side elements of this scripture and the connections I made with them. I am not looking for theological exegesis here, but rather at truths to be applied, because without application our theology rings hollow.

Thinking on the waters being stirred by angels, where angels were assigned iwatern the past brings me to the present–where is God having the waters stirred now? As believers of Jesus, and the triune God, we know we are vessels of the Holy Spirit. Jesus ascended to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, to guide and comfort us. Such a profound truth, to say the least.

As one raised sea-side I am always going back to the waters. Powerful and symbolic, they always call to me. I am sure that is another factor in why this new revelation is so compelling to me. As Bible understanding believers, the presence of the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We are His vessels. Now I know that is an audacious statement but it is true for those who follow Christ and His Word. That is what is so amazing and powerful when we know our true identity in Christ. We love, serve, comfort, encourage, create, etc. from the fountain of the Holy Spirit that wells up within us.

There are certain places that also accommodate a venue to be in a place that stirs the waters. And we can help others in for their healings. A place where the Holy Spirit is recognized and allowed access to our hearts and lives, individually and corporately. These are pools, the waters, which are stirred and the Holy Spirit heals, where He says, “Get up and walk!”

This is where I want to be in the mix. In the waters. In His presence. He in our presence. We His vessels.

If I walk through life with head knowledge and being a do-gooder I will have missed the mark. Doing good is great and necessary; knowledge is something to be attained, but being one who helps stir the waters, or in the company of the One who stirs–now that is the place to be.

What if we are all about this way of life? What if we all provide that touch that only comes from God? What if we gather together knowing that the Holy Spirit is welcome and we make way for His presence to heal the broken, the infirm, to give hope, to let God bless them with His infinite love; to heal marriages, help those in need, and speak words that God share with us to bring life to another? What if?

Imagine the visual I have with me if you will: A young girl, wading in the shallows of the mighty ocean, with joy and authority; she has a stick and she stirs the waters which bring great hope and healing to others. (The age of the girl reflects child-like faith, which is what we are instructed to possess by Scripture. Knowing her authority is part of her identity as a daughter of the Most High God and how we are all called a Holy Priesthood as followers of Jesus; the stick possibly the Holy Spirit extending from the girl (but not the girl), doing His work; the ocean’s expanse is the masses and life, and the shades of blues speak of revelation. Joy set before us doing our Father’s business with great joy.

What do you think? Did I untangle my thoughts enough that I should have pushed publish or do I have years of untangling to get this revelation all ironed out and boxed up? 😉

What is God speaking or showing you these days? Shall you write about it?

( I will have an actual graphic of this vision soon!)