One step forward, one step back. We all know people who never seem to get ahead. They work hard to do more, to do better, to be better, but they always seem to be one step behind. (I am always one step behind during the burpees in aerobics class. I finish all the reps, but I’m always one step behind everyone else. In aerobics, at least, I can encourage myself with, “At least you finished” or “It’s not how fast you work, it’s how much you work.”)
Some people work harder than everyone else. Some people do all the work behind the scenes. These people are gentle. They are usually humble. They are generous. And they are seldom recognized. But they would not wish to be.
I struggled to get good grades during my freshman year of college. I had never learned how to study. I had never had to work hard to get what I wanted. All of a sudden I left home and realized that I was an extremely small fish in a huge pond. A man from my church told me to be thankful because the people who have to work hard to do well develop skills that last throughout all of life.
This morning began my last week of my first grownup job. When I decided to pursue a master’s degree and leave the editing atmosphere, I never dreamed that I would get to today and feel sad. I never dreamed that returning to a life I’ve known previously would cause me to fear. I’m afraid to take what I would consider to be two steps backward.
But on Saturday as I watched my friend open the gifts at her baby shower, I was reminded (again) of how precious life is. No life is a mistake. No life is forgotten. Every life matters. Mine matters too. For some reason, God’s plan is for me to back up a little bit. I pray that when I do, I will see something I hadn’t seen before.
In celebration of doing things you don’t want to do and in remembering triumphing over fear, I toast to France with my cafe au lait.