We’ve all heard that old statement…
“Two Steps Forward, One Step Backwards.” Or, if you want to think about Vladimir Lenin, the communist from the 19th and 20th century, who wrote a pamphlet titled, “One Step Forward, Two Step Backwards.”
Either way, it’s the concept of the arduous actions of trying to get ahead, while slipping behind. Either by one step, or two. It seems like it’s difficult to get ahead, and when progress is experienced, the next step would slip us back closer to where we came from.
At personal levels we often feel the pain of the slippery slope, the loss of forward momentum, the weight of our friends, family, career, country, politics and global needs tied like inestimable weights that we find it impossible to make forward motion.
We take ownership of the global weights and oft times it seems like our knuckles drag the ground and we find it impossible to salvage the skin hitting against the stones.
The weight of the world rests on our psyche so much we feel depression and oppression like never before. Depression comes from within, oppression from without. It’s almost like there is no escape…
This afternoon, for a brief moment, I felt the need to run away from it all. To the wilderness. Away from the crowds, no responsibilities, build a log cabin and enjoy rustic living. You will never know what triggered this, but I will tell you this is how many people feel way too often. Throw in the towel. Quit. Flee Babylon. Grab what is precious and necessary and just simply go…
Then there is something that happens to me, and for me. It comes out of that which I’ve buried and hid in my heart and mind, and suddenly the steps are manageable. The writer of Hebrews paints this kind of picture.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV)
Witness. They surround us. They show us how to live through the valleys and keep the race ever before us, knowing the finish line is soon to arrive!
I think of the witness of my parents, my pastors, my grandmother, and even my siblings. There are good friends and people close to me, and I even experienced hanging around them today.
So… As you slip backwards, dig in with your strength, pick up the pace, turn your eyes forward, grab for the stanchions that line your path. It’s not just you that needs to pick up your feet and set them down forward, you need to reach over to that fellow traveler and help them along.
We are not in this alone!