I saw him on my last trip to the beach.  In an old pair of worn out loafers, mid-calf socks, a v-neck t-shirt, clip on shades, and a bucket hat, this modern-day gold digger shuffles through the sand searching for his buried treasure.  Armed with his metal detector, hoping to hear the high-pitched sound of the nearing metal treasure over his fading eardrums, he takes one step, another step, another step… and he listens.

I never see him standing still; moving is part of the game.  He has to take steps to know if he’s moving in the right direction toward his treasure.  I wonder how many steps he has made in the wrong direction.  How many times has he had to turn around and try a new path?  How much easier would it be if he had a map where X marks the spot?

I probably spend more time waiting for a map than actually taking steps.  I want to be sure of each step before I take it.  I hate wasting time.  Before I start a new project at work, before a new relationship, I want to know it will work out well.  But I am never given the map, only traces of clarity as I take each step.

I have rarely made decisions with 100% assurance.  I can pray for direction, but I have gained most clarity not as I wait, but as I walk- as I take steps forward, listening.  My tendency is to play it safe, but ‘safe’ is not how God called us to live.  He called us to live an adventure, paved with risk, marked by steps of faith.

“God has rigged the world so that it only works when we embrace risk as the theme of our lives, when we live by faith.  All attempts to find a safer life, to live by the expectations of others, just kill the soul in the end.” – John Eldredge

I’ve learned there’s really no such thing as a ‘safe life’.  There are no guarantees.  What seems to be a safe life is only a slow death.

One day when my hearing is faded and I’m wearing old loafers and bucket hats, I want to know I have reached the bounds of all I am meant to experience in this life.  I want to look back on this path and see how divinely lit it was.  It is a call to dream only God-sized dreams, to carry with us the faith that our risks will one day meet reward.  God is honored in our steps of faith.  He waits to show up in our steps.  So we pray for the day when our steps of faith will intersect with his faithfulness… and there the treasure will be.

“By faith the people of Israel passed through the Red Sea as on dry land.” – Author of Hebrews (Hebrews 11:29)