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Diary: Taking The Next Step

“I was not interested in what I could bring to myself...but in what I could bring out of myself.”
— Sophia Loren

It had been seven Sundays since I had been to church. I decided on that eighth Sunday that I should make my way into a pew somewhere. When I got there, I realized that my pastor wasn’t there to preach and an associate pastor would be delivering the sermon that day. Although not initially amused, I’m glad that I went. I received the exact message I needed to hear and want to share my notes with you. The pastor’s words are italicized and my thoughts are underneath. His message was simple.

His sermon was titled The Next Step.

God will always give you a sign that it’s time to move on.

I had been trying to decide the next steps in my career and although I had received previous signs, this message came as confirmation that it is indeed time to move on.

The skills you pick up in the desert will help you in the promised land.

Did you know that 70% of Americans hate their jobs and therefore, are working in their “deserts?”

The pastor used the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt to get to the promised land (you know, the one flowing with milk and honey) but first, they had to go through the desert. I believe that when you feel unsettled or unsure about a decision to move forward or stay put that you are “in the desert.” Luckily, while you decide on what steps to make next, you can take advantage of developing useful skills while you plan your way to the promised land.

Next, the pastor discusses how one takes the next step.

1.    Do not be afraid.

Many of us get “analysis paralysis” when trying to determine if it’s right for us to move on and in which direction to move. It takes courage to decide and even more courage to follow through on a decision. But if God has given you numerous signs that it’s time to move on, you better start moving your feet.

2.    Stand firm.

After you’ve made the decision to take the next step, in any area of your life, do not falter on it. Stand firm in your decision even if that means writing the 2-week notice, deleting your ex’s contact information, or doing research on the next city you’ll live in.

3.    Actually take the next step.

The Israelites remained in the desert for FORTY years because they refused to move forward. For some, success frightens more than failure. When you’re successful, everyone is waiting for you to fail and that is often too much for many of us to bear. Don’t let that be the reason you stand still.

The pastor’s last question asked what happens after you take the next step.

A way will be prepared for you. You will be protected. The situation will be changed for you.

Ultimately, taking the next step is an act of faith…whether you’re religious or not. It is an act of courage. It is a decision.

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