An excerpt from Deliver Us from Evil: Daily Readings for Hard Times by Dorothy Lehman Hoerr

When you’re walking in the woods and you come to a stream, if you don’t want to get your feet soaked, you walk on rocks to get across. You kind of map out a path from one stone to another. But when you step out into the stream on that first stone, you know the crossing may not go exactly as you planned. The whole way across, you’re looking for options—which rocks can you reach from the one you’re on? Which ones lead roughly the right direction to where you want to go? 

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

Sometimes it’s a very long stretch to the next rock. You may have to leap a little, and the landings can be tricky. At times you might find yourself perched awkwardly on one foot on a rock. You know you can’t stand like that for long, but it doesn’t matter because you’ll be off to the next rock in a second, so it’s okay. 

Isn’t that just like life? Sometimes, on our way from one thing to another, we find ourselves perched precariously in some odd position that we would not have chosen to be in, but there we are. It’s easy to panic, to start flailing our arms and making a fuss. But if we do that, we’re just going to fall into the water.  

The better way is to just stay calm and look ahead to the next rock. No, the path may not be working out like you thought it would, but you can still get across the stream. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re balancing on one foot on a slippery rock. The next rock is just ahead of you. Relax and look for the next steppingstone. 

Today’s thought: “I try to have a very steppingstone mentality about this whole thing, where as soon as you make one step you visualize the next step, not five steps ahead.” Taylor Swift