Early, one Saturday morning, I dressed quickly which is not my norm and hustled out the door to take pictures with my new camera. I wanted the practice and hoped that I could capture the sunrise and possibly, fingers crossed, deer grazing the meadows. My husband was driving which afforded me the opportunity to watch for locations to stop.
As we drove along the Natchez Trace, I spotted a herd of cows by a fence and had him pull over so I could get out. I crept my way towards them. One tentative step at a time. The cows were jittery and skittish. I was afraid that I might spook them. Closer and closer, I made my way until I finally arrived at the fence.
The herd and I eyed one another. Maybe, we even smelled one another because I got a strong whiff of them. I wasn’t afraid of them but I was leery. The fence didn’t look like it would withstand a stampede if they decided to charge me. I think the cows had the same concerns about me except for this little fella who decided to take a risk.
Curiosity got the best of him. He inched his way toward me uncertain what to make of the clicking noise of my camera as I took the shots. Cautiously, he came one step forward, then, took one step back. He was part of a trio but the only one with enough pluck to check me out.
He found his courage but the others didn’t. Boldly, he determined to take the risk. He didn’t walk right towards me or run up to me. He, carefully, tested the waters. But, he came. His need to know outweighed his fear. His curiosity overcame the boundary of potential danger.
I feel like the other cows sometimes. I let the fear take over. I miss out on the richness of discovery because I’m timid to make that first step, that first move, that first action, that first word. I’m afraid of rejection. Afraid of the risk. Afraid of looking silly. Afraid of not knowing the right answer. Just afraid. Sometimes, I call it practicality when really it’s self-preservation.
That little fella did bolt when I, accidentally, lost my balance. But, his brief encounter with me reminded me that boldness can be taken in small steps, in small moves. Each step drawing me nearer and encouraging confidence and boldness to develop within me.
I prefer to be like this little fella. I don’t want anything to hold me back from joining in, speaking out, or stepping forward. All it takes is that first step.
I’ve learned that if I let the obstacles before me keep me from experiencing what God has in store for me, I miss out. I end up with regret. Those very obstacles are the tools He uses quite often to prepare me for a great adventure in my life.
Do you have something you’re longing to do? What do you need plucky courage to do? Will you take the first step?
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 NIV Bible