One Hundred Steps

Writer Author  Donna J. Shepherd
Christian Article : Salvation  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Did you know it takes walking 10,000 steps or 4.5 miles a day to lose one pound? That's the number of steps researchers say you should walk every day to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. I bought a pedometer and was disheartened to see that I only walked about 3,000 steps in a day. But on one particular occasion, one hundred steps made a difference.

My husband, Don, and I had traveled to Columbus, Ohio for church business. On the way to our hotel, we passed some shops. As any veteran shopper would, I made a mental note to investigate them later. We checked in, got settled in our room, and Don departed for the meeting taking our car. I basked in the peace and quiet, and took out the book I’d brought to read.

Hunger pains pulled me from my book. I looked at my watch and realized that the meeting was running longer than my husband had expected. I needed a snack to hold me until he got back, so I phoned the front desk to ask where I could find a vending machine. I was informed that there were no vending machines in the hotel.

With another persistent growl from my stomach, I picked up the room service menu. What? Fifteen dollars for a salad? I decided I wasn’t that hungry. I didn’t relish the idea of walking around an unfamiliar city to look for a restaurant. Besides, I wanted to wait to eat a nice, elegant meal in the hotel dining room with my husband.

As a last resort, I scrounged around in my purse and found half a protein bar. I devoured it in record time and settled in with my book.

When Don came through the hotel door two hours later, I jumped up and hustled him back down to the restaurant. We were seated in front of a large bank of windows where 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 the 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 were suspended 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. At the base of the tree, a niche had been formed. A huge ornate chair encrusted with colored stones and sprayed liberally with glitter sat inside, a seat reserved for that special someone – Santa. Alas, a small sign indicated that even Santa has time off.

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 was a pair of feathery wings in the window of a well-known lingerie store.

On our way back to our room, I thought how I could have walked one hundred steps to search for food to satisfy my physical hunger. In fact, one of my favorite foods was just inside the front door – barbecue chicken pizza.

Had I been hunting 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 that 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

In the same way I rummaged through my purse to find a morsel of sustenance, there are many who are searching to fill the hunger in their souls. Some will follow steps set forth by men in their zeal to perform for God. But Jesus already paid our sacrifice, and says in His word that He alone is the way to the Father.

John 14:6 – Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”1

It would have been helpful if the lady I spoke to at the front desk had given me direction to the eateries in the mall. I pray that during this Christmas season and long after that my witness will serve as a walkway so that 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 some snacks.

Prayer: Lord, help me be a display of Your love. May I lead others to You. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

© Donna J. Shepherd 2003
© Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
All rights reserved worldwide

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