Why Real Steps?

If you walk North from our house for a few minutes, you reach the sea. The nearest access is down a set of stone steps. At high tide, the water laps across the bottom of these steps, at low tide you can scramble across trees, rocks and pebbles to explore the shoreline, often without anyone else in sight.

5 years ago I took this picture, and it's been an inspirational shot for me ever since. Noted, my photographic skills have improved since then, but it continues to speak to me and challenge me.

The name so simply graffiti'd here has long since been erased by weather and footsteps, and I've had a secret desire to renew it for some time. To me the steps themselves, the railing, the blackberry bushes and weeds, the composition, the lamp, and the sky all speak of the way I live my life, and the challenges I face. Most of all they issue a daily challenge to me: "what real steps am I taking to join God in his mission?". Then, "what real steps am I taking to encourage young people to take real steps into their God-inspired destinies?"

the bottom step
the view from the top

The main photo shows the top of the staircase, so to reach this position, you have already climbed twice as many steps from the beach. To me this represents an ascent from the exciting (yet dangerous) waters representing our daily lives, to a calm place where beauty, perspective and safety are restored - shalom? An encounter with Jesus on the way, not only gives us vision and hope to continue to our goal, but also provides incredible foundation, and radically affects the walk itself.  Here we live in that tension of the kingdom being 'here', but 'not yet', we're walking, we're taking steps.

Yeah, you're right, I'm probably not able to do justice to my experiences with this staircase in writing, nor photography. I hope this gives some idea of why I call this blog "real steps". If you want to get the full picture, you'll have to allow me to buy you a coffee and we can walk the steps together. I've spent some foundational moments there, alone and with others, at all times of day and night, and in many weather conditions. I will happily share some more moments there with you!