The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

Psalm 37:23

I gingerly stepped on the scale after a four-week holiday.  With trepidation I glanced at the number.  Unbelievable!  We had been in Italy (bread, pasta and gelato) and in Greece (moussaka, spanakopita and baklava).  Rechecking confirmed the number.  I had to live with fact:  I had lost weight!  What could possibly explain this near-miraculous occurrence?  Steps!  Many, many steps.

We arrived in Pisa, Italy and began climbing, the Leaning Tower (297 steps), followed by the Baptistery (150 steps), the first of many worn marble steps we encountered.  We ascended 463 steps for a glorious view of Florence from the Santa Marie del Fiore Cathedral.  A coastal hike from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare in the Cinque Terre lived up to its description as “narrow, steep, rocky with lots of tall knee-testing stairs”.  Even the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos, perched on cliffs overlooking the sea, owe their stunning vistas to unavoidable steps.

There are steps in Dubrovnik, Croatia too; the old town is a bowl-like, intact walled city.  Promptly upon arrival, we climbed the steps to the top of the City Walls, noting the views down to city center and down to the harbours.  However, one doesn’t quite grasp the impact of steps until you descend and stroll down one of Dubrovnik’s three flat-ish streets.  An upwards glance reveals almost perpendicular streets of steps rising to meet the walls.  As I marveled at this, an elderly lady, aided by a cane, began a slow and obviously painful ascent, a pointed reminder that such steps are a part of everyday life.

Constantly encountering steps is not part of daily reality for most of us.  But tackling close to 5,000 steps during my trip has certainly shed new light on the steps I take.

 The simple believe anything, but the prudent give  thought to their steps.

 Proverbs 14:15

The up and down of steps causes you to pay close attention to where you are placing your feet.  I always thought it was easier to descend steps, but discovered that on worn stones, stepping down carelessly is quite foolhardy!  I wonder about my everyday steps.  Have I become complacent with the steps I am taking?  Do I give thought to taking steps that matter?

My steps have stayed on your path;  I have not wavered from following you. 

 Psalm 17:5

Of greater importance, are my steps on the right path?  After unnecessarily trekking up, then back down, several flights of steps, I began to pay more attention to the map!  Am I seeking to follow the path God has for me?  Even if such a path includes unavoidable rocky, steep, painful or just ordinary steps?

Prayer: Thank you God for steps.  I am grateful you delight to direct the steps of those who follow you.  May each step we take, whether up or down or level, be a step towards you.  Help us to follow you without hesitation; to step confidently knowing that you are guiding our steps.  Amen.

 Contributed by Daryl Ginter