Monday, August 15, 2005

First Steps

One of the amazing things I've had happen in my life was when my daughter, Elliana, came into the world. This isn't going to be a sappy post about childbirth or the wonderfulness of life, I promise! But having a new child--especially your first one--is an experience unto itself, far beyond words or explanation.

As the year has passed, we've seen Elliana grow from an immovable baby to a toddler that can skitter across the room almost faster than we can walk. She chases balls, loves to bring us books to read, and squeals whenever we pull out the snacks.

One of the most rewarding experiences is seeing your child's first steps. Elliana took hers last month, when I came back from a 10-day residency at school. I had a toy in my hand and my wife was holding her up. She wanted that toy so bad, she just stepped forward, grabbed it steadily, then plopped down a moment later.

We cheered, we clapped, she stared at us, as if to ask, "What?"

Since then, she's only taken a few more steps, and only when she doesn't think about it. If she's so enthralled a toy or a game that she doesn't think about walking, she will walk. But the moment she realizes the risk she's taking, she thinks twice about it and chooses to crawl instead--a safe mode of travel she can count on.

Her actions have got me thinking of my own life and how many times I've wanted so bad to take a first step into something and see everything from that new point of view...but then thought twice about it and resorted to my old, safe mode of traveling instead.

God knows we can reason our dreams away. That's why He stands strong, offering a hand, encouraging us to take that first step--even if we might stumble or fall on our rear. And when we take that first step, it changes the way we live life evermore.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)


Christopher Maselli

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