One Hundred Steps
By Donna Shepherd
Did you know it takes walking 10,000 steps or 4.5 miles a day to lose one pound? I bought a pedometer and was disheartened to see that I walked about 3,000 steps in a day.
But on one particular occasion, one hundred steps made a difference.
My husband, Don, and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio for business. We checked in, got settled in our room, and Don departed in our car to attend a meeting. I basked in the peace and quiet, and took out a book to read.
Soon hunger pains pulled me from my book. I needed a snack, so I phoned the front desk to ask where I could find a vending machine. The woman who answered informed me there were no vending machines in the hotel.
With another persistent growl from my stomach, I picked up the room service menu. Fifteen dollars for a salad? I decided I wasn’t that hungry. I didn’t relish the idea of walking around an unfamiliar city, and wanted to eat a nice, elegant meal in the hotel dining room with my husband, so as a last resort, I scrounged around in my purse and found a protein bar. I devoured it in record time!
When Don came through the hotel door two hours later, I jumped up and hustled him back down to the restaurant. While seated in front of a large bank of windows, I had an unobstructed view of the shops I’d seen earlier.
“How do we get to those stores?” I asked the waiter.
“There’s a walkway right from our lobby, ma’am!”
After dinner, we found the walkway. We passed at least a dozen eateries – a pizza parlor, a Chinese restaurant, and numerous establishments serving varied cuisine. I could have easily gotten a dinner for two for the cost of one salad on the room service menu.
With one hundred steps, we emerged into one of the most beautiful malls I’d ever seen. The ceilings soared, revealing three stories with hundreds of shops. As we walked, I marveled at the magnificent Christmas displays. Multicolored ornaments the size of basketballs hung in clusters. Sparkling white lights hung from the highest points to cascade in sheets like snow falling from the sky. Car-sized wreaths decorated every wall.
The centerpiece of the décor was a three story Christmas tree, and at its base, a niche had been formed. A huge ornate chair encrusted with colored stones and sprayed liberally with glitter sat inside, reserved for that special someone – Santa.
In an attempt to walk off our dinner, we strolled through all three floors. I enjoyed the decorations, but as happens frequently with public holiday displays, not one crèche, shepherd, or baby Jesus could be found. The closest thing to an angel consisted of a pair of feathery wings in the window of a lingerie store.
I thought of how easily I could have walked one hundred steps to search for food to satisfy my physical hunger, but had I been hunting in the mall for something to satisfy my spiritual hunger or any type of display to know the true meaning of Christmas, my search would have been in vain.
I thank God it doesn’t take a hundred steps to find the Christmas’s true meaning. It only takes one – a solitary step of faith to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 niv
In the same way I rummaged through my purse to find sustenance, many people search to fill the hunger in their souls. Some follow steps set forth by men in their zeal to perform for God.
Jesus already paid our sacrifice, and says in His word that He alone is the way to the Father.
John 14:6 niv – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
It would have been helpful if the lady I spoke to at the front desk had given me directions to the eateries in the mall. I pray that during this Christmas season and long after, my witness will serve as a walkway so others may be encouraged to take that one step of faith. My hope is that I will be one who gives direction to people who are hungering spiritually.
And next time I take a trip, I’m packing snacks!
Prayer: Lord, help me be a display of Your love. May I lead others to You. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
Visit Donna at http://www.donnajshepherd.com