Let’s Make Our Steps Clear

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This morning I heard one of my favourite Bruce Springsteen songs, If I Should Fall Behind. The lyrics paint a picture of sweethearts journeying through life side by side, promising to wait for one another if they should happen to fall out of step:

“If as we’re walking, a hand should slip free
I’ll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me”

Sometimes in life, we do find ourselves in the lead. Maybe the road is familiar, and we’re propelled by confidence because we know exactly where we’re going. Maybe we are carried by faith. Maybe we are in the flow of doing what we love; passion has lit a fire under us and we’re running towards our purpose full steam ahead.

And sometimes we fall behind. Maybe we’re weary. Maybe we need to regroup. Maybe we have lost sight of who we are. Maybe we got distracted and suddenly realize that we’re on the path alone. Like the kid who got ditched on the playground, we scurry to catch up. “Wait for meeee!”

Whether we’re ahead or behind, what a comfort it is, this beautiful agreement to wait for one another. This sentiment was what I always most appreciated about Springsteen’s song. But listening today, this line grabbed my heart and my attention:

“So let’s make our steps clear, that the other may see”

It struck me that this romantic notion of waiting for each other is underscored here by a plan. Let’s make our steps clear. Let’s leave markers on the path, lights to lead the way.

It got me thinking … how do we do this—make our steps clear for one another, should we lose our way? Maybe we do our best to be intentional with our actions and steadfast in our word. Maybe we pay attention, check in and communicate.

And maybe if we find ourselves wandering aimless and astray, we can identify whatever makes us feel whole—a purpose or people or practices that give us that sense of rightness—and turn to these guideposts as they steer us back to the path of peace and joy.

But perhaps the best plan we can put in place is to rely on the One who sees where we’ve been and where we’re going, who knows our heart and our journey inside and out. No matter what road we’re travelling, we can look to and rest in our God, the one true compass that always lights the way and guides us home.


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Image credit: Danielle Hughson

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