The First Step

(Originally written August, 1994)

Do you remember when your child took his first step? There was such excitement among the parents, grandparents, and friends. This was not because of the tremendous ability shown, but because the first step was another milestone in a life that exhibited such promise. Why is it that as we get older, that first step becomes harder and harder to take?

During the last few weeks I’ve faced some real challenges as an adult. Some of these demanded a lot of courage and I was fearful or wanted to “put off” taking that step. Other situations required that I turn away from actions or thoughts that were harmful to me, but had become habits. I felt far too weak to take that one step to change my direction. Let’s try to remember some valuable lessons from that youngster about to take his first step.

It helps the child if the adult holds his hand and walks with him before he tries it alone. We all need people to walk beside us. When we’re ready to take that first step, it helps to have someone a few feet away with a smiling face and open arms. The child does best when focusing on someone out front and not on the step ahead. Where is the focus of your life? Is it positive and loving? Today we reward with glory the one who finishes the 26 mile marathon. But the most important step was the decision to train – made months or years before – because someone was there to encourage and support.

Changing direction requires that we concentrate on our pivot foot and even on doing a complete “about face”. One very small step in a different direction can affect our life for years to come. For most of us this requires not that we look at our temporary status but at the general direction of our lives. A life of meaning, purpose, and service is determined not by the big decision as much as by the daily choices that take us down the pathway of life. And if we have gotten off the pathway, it only takes one step to get us heading back in the right way. It’s not the size of our stride, but its direction.

Let me ask you a few simple questions. Who’s watching your life? Whose life are you watching? With what kind of people have you chosen to walk through life? Are you willing to take that small step to change the direction of your destiny? As mothers and fathers we long to see our children be able to walk alone in their own strength. However, we are always there waiting with open arms, ready to give them a hand, willing to help them up when they fall, and encouraging them to have a long term focus and head in the right direction. Finally even when our earthly friends and family fail us, we have a heavenly Father who longs to have us focus on Him and take Him hand. In a dark and unstable world, that gives us light and security. All of us as “children” have someone who is looking eagerly for us to take that first step, that right step, and that positive step in His direction.

Learning to Walk,


About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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