The Steps of a Good Man
(a message to myself)
Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div, LOM
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23) I have heard the twists and turns of life described as the baseball analogy of life throwing a curveball. A curveball initially seems to be something we are comfortable with but suddenly turns an unexpected direction. I’m discovering that, in reality, life is basically a series of curve balls. You cannot escape them – they are inevitable. For Christians especially, life is a series of challenges and obstacles that are either an opportunity to trust and grow in Jesus Christ, or we can allow circumstances to undermine our faith and testimony.
I have always been thankful that we cannot foresee the future. If we could, it would be difficult to be productive in the present. The challenge is to continue to grow and be useful during the times we feel as though we are barely keeping our head above water. It is during these times that we must simply take one day at a time – sometimes even one hour at a time – and let the Lord sustain and direct us. It is one thing to say that, but how does it actually work in practice? Emotions are a gift from God. But they have the ability to undo us if we allow. What are the logistics of living one day at a time in a way that we are actually being productive despite feeling incapacitated?
I remember when I run around the buffalo pasture down Eastern Parkway, Buffalo and up to Rochester Avenue. The last few minutes is a slow, steady incline. I am already huffing and puffing by the time I reach that point. When I pass President Ave and see that uphill slope, it feels like I can’t make it. But I’ve learned something. If I focus on my feet instead of the destination at the top of that slope, I can do it – one step at a time. I’ve also learned that it’s a good idea to focus on my next step because the pasture ground is not consistent and it is easy to twist an ankle. If I focus too much on the destination, I’m liable to fall and hurt myself.
Life is similar. When there is baggage from the past or the present is full of pain, or there is an uncertain future full of question marks and changes, the key to getting to the goal is to focus on what the Lord has for today. He understands our emotions and struggles. If we remain faithful, He will guide us – one step at a time. Take those steps, and before we know it, we’ll have made it. Of most vital importance is to remain faithful and effective for the Lord Jesus, no matter where we are in our circumstances. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
The Scripture promises that the steps of a good man will be ordered by the Lord. What is a good man? The New Living translation puts Psalm 37:23 in this way: “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” A good man is a godly man. God is utterly good and faithful. He cares about every detail of the steps of those who seek and obey Him. There are certain steps we can take, no matter how we are feeling, that will guarantee that we will remain sure-footed in Christ Jesus. These steps also assure that He will guide our path.
I will continue this personal message tomorrow the Lord’s willing