The Next Step

I’m stealing the bit of wisdom coming to you in this post from a homily I heard while attending mass at school about a month or so ago.  All succeeding praises and admiration will defer to Fr. Gerard (and of course the Holy Spirit speaking through him).

I have said it before and I will say it again, the future can be a scary thing.  It sometimes is so stressful to address all of the questions the future poses.  What will I do to earn a living?  Will I love my job or will I just do it to make some money—or both?  Even worse, sometimes we think we have everything planned out for the next five years, and then a terrible thing happens to take it away from us.  Maybe we didn’t get that deal we were hoping for at work, or maybe we lost our job completely.  Maybe that Ms. Perfect you had your heart set on marrying in a few years decides she just wants to be friends (ouch!). Whatever the reason, life always finds a way to serve us up a heaping plate of uncertainty.  If you’re anything like me, you often find this accompanied by a considerably-sized side dish of anxiety, just to make things interesting.

Unlike fear, which has the ability to motivate us to take action when needed, anxiety is something that brings with it unnecessary stress.  Planning for the future is important and sometimes necessarily stressful; but there is a reason for the saying “one step at a time.”  Just like those of us with shorter legs do not have the option of leaping up staircases five steps at a time, so too do us limited human beings not always have the luxury of seeing the next few steps in our life.  Even if we think we can plan out every detail of the future, sometimes life just decides to put a big clumsy kid in front of us to block our view or knock us down mid-ascent.  The cool thing about staircases is that you don’t need to get from step 1 to step 5 in one swift motion.  All you need to do is focus on the step in front of you.

As always, prayer is powerful.  Pray often and stay close to God; live always in His plan.  If you have the confidence you are living the life He has laid out for you, you can have certainty that things will work out for the best, even if at the moment you can’t see how.