Stepping Out

“Just a little dusting of snow, and everything shuts down.”

So gripe the inevitable commentators and critics of us Southerners when winter storms, like this week’s, disrupt our daily routines. Hopefully, we scrambled to the grocery stores, then camped out and cocooned at home, though many have been stranded on icy, treacherous roads or without power.

Such extreme conditions are rare around here, so we don’t always cope well. Most of us tread and travel cautiously. For instance, “black ice,” a thin, clear coating of ice, may invisibly coat the roads and walkways. One false step and I land painfully on my backside. Do I dare to step out my front door?


There are places and times when a handrail is, well, handy. Losing traction is an ever-present danger, wherever and whenever we venture forth.

But clear ice is not the only condition that can cause us to slip, slide, and endanger ourselves. Even the most faithful of us can have our feet taken out from under us suddenly and unexpectedly on the warmest, clearest day.

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me, prays the Psalmist (119:133).

Like a small patch of invisible ice, a slight misstep, away from God’s truth and toward the sin of self-interest, can send us flying out of control, awaiting a crash.

As people of covenant faith, when we find ourselves in a slippery predicament, we hold fast to God’s promises. A good way to catch ourselves and restore some balance is trusting the Psalm 121 affirmation and reminder:

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip…