How Many Steps Back?

“One step forward, two steps back.” That’s a fairly benign bit of wisdom when it applies to someone else. When it is directed at me or to someone I love, it more fittingly paints a picture of gloom and loss of hope.

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How can we ever overcome the challenges ahead of us when they seem to grow larger every day?

This is the moment to reach back and pull out all of those great one-liners, mottos, and zingers. Tiny phrases, filled with goodness, packaged and guaranteed to lift us and our proverbial ox out of any ditch that ensnares us.

Reassured by wisdom from those who have walked before us, we take one more small step forward. As our foot makes full contact with the slippery surface below, we sigh and smile knowing we’ve done what we can for now. And as we stand straight under our burdens from our new location and look into tomorrow, we notice that our path has grown two steps longer.

Our quest for peace — personally, communally, and globally — is this ever-extended journey. Some days it seems absurd to venture out seeking a destination that seems to move away from us at maddening speed.

Yet, the truth is that every “one step forward” captures a bit of that final destination for us to own and enjoy right now. The “two steps back” merely provide additional opportunity to exercise wisdom, exalt in joy, and experience reconciliation.

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