Have you ever had those moments when the fear of taking a new path stops you in your tracks? I have.
I’ve missed out because that fear of failing keeps me from trying. I find myself stuck in the same routine because I didn’t take a chance and step off the familiar path of what I already know.
Last weekend was beautiful here. The sun was shining after days of cloud cover and the temperature made it to a warm 71 by midday. It has been a cold, snowy winter and fallen tree branches litter my yard. Saturday was a great day to start hauling those branches to the wood pile and clean up what winter has left behind.
Towards the late afternoon, Dave and I had made our way toward the apple tree side of the yard. This is the side where my hammock hangs. Last summer I spent hours there in the comfort of that cove.
On the edge of the cove a tree had fallen and now it was time for some cutting away. As Dave buzzed along with his chainsaw, I ventured in a few steps beyond the edge. I crept in some more and realized that beyond the bushy edge there was an opening I hadn’t seen before…a whole new clearing with layers of natural beauty.
As I wandered in, I thought to myself… “This is so peaceful here… Why didn’t I know this place was here before?”
A rusted trailer with worn-out wheels was abandoned in the mud. Signs were around that others had been there before. And further back a quiet stream ran through making its way to another water source.
How did I miss this? How did I not know this was here within my reach and on my own land?
Dave’s chainsaw stopped and he made his way back to where I stood.
“It’s nice back here, huh?” he said.
I whispered, “Yeah… why haven’t I been back here? How did I not know this was here?”
Dave’s the one who ventures out through the woods. I’m sure he’s walked every part of these 11 acres we own. But me… I’ve kept near to the house. I’ve stayed within what I see and what’s right in front of me.
I have been content to stay in the landscaped view of my hammock. Yet just beyond the edge of the wooded barrier there was a new place with more to discover and uncover.
- What else does God have for us beyond our place of comfort?
- What are we missing because we haven’t taken the risk to step beyond the familiar?
It’s not that I haven’t been invited or had the opportunity. Dave has asked before, “Do you want to walk the land with me?” And I have… but I’ve stuck to familiar paths… ones cleared out by others.
So what keeps us from taking steps where there is no path?
- The ease of the comfortable path?
- The lack of drive to see something new?
- Or fear to leave what we already know?
I’m not sure if it’s just one reason or a combination of them stacking up. But I am growing through these new ventures of stepping out and this is what I’m getting…
- There’s always something new to learn and I don’t know it all.
- Quiet observation helps me hear and see what He’s teaching me
- Viewing a new perspective opens my mind to gain knowledge
- He leads me to good places when I take the chance and venture out
This year I’ve been focusing on perseverance and I’m learning how easily I give up. (I’m not beating myself up over this revelation because realizing that truth is growth for me and grace from Him.)
I’m learning that the simplest of obstacles… like a hedge of overgrowth and broken tree branches… can keep me from a new discovery of beauty for the simple reason that I’m content with what I know.
So what else is out there that God wants to show us but we’re hesitant to venture?
I’m not sure. But I’m inviting you to come along, step out, persevere and head into the unknown… even if it’s just beyond the wooded edge.
“God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” (Ephesians 3:20 ~ The Message)
Let’s take a risk, friend! Let’s venture out and trust Him with something new in our lives. He leads us to good places… and who knows what amazing things we will learn along the way?