There’s no telling how much time has passed since I set out to write this post. It’s not that I’m stumped—I know what I want to say. What puts me on hold is figuring out how to say it. I want it to be just right. Not too long, not too stale, and in keeping with every writer’s dream, moving to at least someone out there. So I sit. And stare. And eventually shut it down for another day. After awhile, days and weeks have passed and I have nothing to show for it.

In some ways, this description fits the pattern of my faith—or should I say unfaith—as well. God plants a thought in my mind and gives evidence of its importance in my walk with Him. I feel excited to envelop myself in it, but what happens is—well, nothing. Nothing outward, at least. I research the thing. I pray about it. I may even talk about it with my best friend. But days and weeks pass and I have nothing to show for it.

I’m not stumped. I hear what God is encouraging me to do. But the compulsion to fully know and understand the details of the thing so I can proceed with perfection keeps me from actually moving forward.

See, I’m not much of a risk-taker. Somewhere deep down I’ve formulated the belief that I can’t honor God if I don’t take the exact steps He has planned for me. I don’t feel safe relying solely on my own judgment. You can imagine the time I’ve wasted trying to figure out what those steps are. For fear that I’ll mess up, I’ve become a passive Christ-follower. And isn’t that just the kind of Christian the Enemy loves?

Not at all what I was going for. The opposite, actually.

God’s so good, you know? He’s beginning to show me a bigger truth that has brought incredible amounts of freedom for this rule-follower. Picture a toddler about to take his first steps. For weeks, his parents have been working with him, teaching and encouraging and exemplifying what it means to walk. And finally, he steps. One foot. Then the other. He may go in circles or in a line. He may take one step or ten before falling down.

What do you imagine the parents are doing as they watch? What do their faces look like? I’ll tell you. They’re proud. They’re excited. They’re high-fiving and hollering as though their team has just made it to the Final Four.

Here’s what they’re not doing. They’re not marking Xs on the carpet for the little guy to step onto. They’re not picking up the toddler’s feet and planting them just so. They’re not even holding onto his hands and steering his body. And I can promise they’re not disappointed that he took only three steps instead of seven.

We’re the toddler and God is the parent. He doesn’t mark out every single step He wants us to take in life. Instead He shows us the goal, and then He watches proudly as we do our best to mimic Him. Whether we take one step or a hundred, He’s there watching like a proud Daddy. He celebrates progress—even baby steps.

What about you? How often do you let fear (or laziness or control or fill-in-the-blank) render you passive?

Don’t let anything get in the way of your willingness to fully give yourself to what God has put on your heart to do. You’re free to move!