For as long as I can remember I have loved steps. Steps up, steps down, zigzag steps, wide ones, narrow ones, in fact, all sorts of steps. My favourite ones are those in stately homes. The timeless grandeur of a sweeping staircase with wonderful ornate handrails just thrills me. As a child I didn’t often get the chance to enjoy such wonderful surroundings.
But any sort of steps would do. Many are the times that Mum would get furious with me because I was “not keeping up” whilst walking around town. I would be up and down the steps at the entrances to shops! I think it drove her crazy!!
However, there was one place I loved more than anywhere else that we used to go as a family – Dudley Zoo. Whenever I heard Mum ask, “Shall we go to the zoo today?”, I would have my hat and coat on before you could say “Jack Robinson”!
The zoo is built on a hill in the grounds of an old castle and is still in existence. In fact, I visited it recently for the first time in over sixty years and it is almost exactly as I remember it from my childhood. Naturally the animals are no longer kept in small cages as they were when I was younger – they now have paddocks and large open areas since awareness of animal rights came into being (and not a day too soon, either).
So off we would go, Mum with the pushchair carrying my brother along with myself and my sister walking beside. We always went on a Wednesday as that was the day for half-price entrance charges, and there were usually fewer people, being midweek. There was so many steps at the zoo, leading up to the castle on the top of the hill – I was in dreamland!
I was so excited, nothing mattered to me but the steps. But, of course, as had to happen (me being me!) came the day it all went wrong!
We had been looking at the animals on the lowest level and Mum decided that, as she had brought a picnic, we could walk up to the top and have lunch in the castle grounds. So my sister was to help Mum carry my brother in the pushchair up the steps and I was told I could go on ahead and wait at the top. How exciting, all those steps to run up and down – and with permission!.
As I neared the top I could see the castle and my thoughts went into overdrive as I imagined myself imprisoned in the castle waiting for the knight in shining armour to appear. So when I got to the top did I wait? Of course not, I just kept going. I wandered over into the castle ruins and had a wonderful time, not realising the anguish I was causing.
It seems that, as I wasn’t waiting for them, Mum had to find one of the keepers and they set up a search for me. Oh, my goodness, did I catch it when I was found!!!!!
I still like steps and much prefer them to hills, although I’m not quite as sprightly as I once was, so I don’t go looking for them nowadays!
These thoughts about steps led me to think of the many steps we take during our lives. Steps towards maturity, steps in our chosen profession, steps towards finding a life partner and, of course, steps towards asking Jesus into our lives.
My husband recently took that final step and asked Jesus into his life on Easter Sunday this year. It is probably one of the biggest steps anyone can take because it’s a step of faith. It’s trusting, believing and learning to walk in God’s way.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
“For some of you, the next step is to accept Jesus Christ into your life. For others, it may be to be baptised. Maybe you need to join a church. I don’t know what your next step is, but I do know this: You have one. God will never be finished taking you deeper in faith. There is always a next step.” http://purposedriven.com/blogs/dailyhope/?contentid=11562