I don’t guess any of us remember our first step. The moment as infants, when we stop crawling, stand up, and take a step. At first, we may only take a couple of steps before we fall again. But eventually, we get the hang of it and commence to walking wherever we go. It is the first step of many over the course of our lives. The average person takes around 7,500 steps/day. If this is maintained daily through the age of 80, you will have walked about 216,262,500 steps throughout your life.
As people of faith, each day we can choose what to do with our steps. No one is controlling us, but we are free to decide which direction our day will go. Our first step each morning is entirely up to us. It would seem to me that the first step each day in our lives should be a step of gratitude. When our feet hit the floor after a night of rest, the best way to begin the day is in thanksgiving to the God who has brought us safely through another night. We are awake and alive and this is worthy of praise.
In Psalm 92:1 we read, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord.” The first step each day should be a step of gratitude. Before the worries of the day begin to settle in or we face the problems we have to tackle, we should step out first in gratitude. If we begin the day with gratitude, then it can become our frame of reference for the rest of the day. Even though the day before us might be challenging or difficult, we can see it through a lens of gratitude and thanks. Andrew Murry, the great Dutch Reformed missionary sent from Scotland to South Africa and the author many books on the Christian life, once wrote, “Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts.” If our first step of the day is gratitude to God, then this spirit of gratitude can guide the steps that follow and remind us that even in our most difficult steps how blessed we are.
In the Gospel of Luke, there is a story in which Jesus heals ten lepers all at once. They are elated at their healing and turn to go and share their healing with a priest so they can be officially declared clean. One leper, however, returns to Jesus, falls at his feet, and give thanks for what the Lord had done for him. We should follow this leper’s lead and offer God thanks each day with our first step. We can give thanks for all the Lord has done for us. If we step out first in gratitude to God, then we know that they will be heading out in the right direction.