One Step Can Be Enough… Hello weekend readers. I hope this Memorial Day weekend holiday is one of celebration and honor for all those who gave it all for the freedoms we so cherish. I was reading some interesting information about WWII, as my father was in that war, and I’m always looking for something new about its history. A favorite for me is The Atlantic magazine which has been around since 1857—lots of nuggets in there and I’m sharing one of them for each of you to muse on—it’s good stuff!!
During WII, newspapers, telegrams, and magazines were putting out almost non-stop what they could share with our country, wanting to give hope, victory, a sense of pride and kudos to all those who signed up to fight in the war, all those who stepped up to help the war effort and an assurance even perhaps a bit of peace for the families of soldiers. Never in our country had so many people come together!
During that time, Arthur Hays Sulzberger was the publisher of the New York Times. Everyone was working 24/7 including Sulzberger. It was not only exhausting, but often depressing as well. Yes, we were working to shut down Hitler and have victory but when some of the news was tough—loss of lives—then Pearl Harbor and so much more, reading all this and then trying to share it with the masses was difficult. Sulzberger said “the conflict was daunting and reading it first before sharing it made it impossible for him to sleep and yet, working all hours around the clock he needed that sleep.” For a while he almost felt like stepping down because it was so overwhelming; he felt he couldn’t help the people. He wasn’t able to set aside the worries from his mind until a friend shared something with him giving him some inner peace and the energy to continue. His friend told him, “Just one step can be enough” and Sulzberger adopted that as his daily motto saying “one step is enough for me.” When he felt down and anxious, he would say it out loud and walk through the factory sharing it with his employees. The result was one by one, his employees adopted the motto and it not only encouraged them but also their families, neighborhoods, and so forth.
Sulzberger was a devout Jew so you can imagine the horrors of Hitler’s “Final Solution” for killing Jews. His friend who gave him his motto was a devout Episcopalian and sang this hymn to him: “vs-1: The night is dark, and I am far from home, direct my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me. Refrain: So lead me onward, Lord, and hear my plea. Lead, kindly Light, amid the gloom of evening. Lord, lead me on! Lord, lead me on! On through the night! On to your radiance! Lead, kindly Light!” Sulzberger loved the hymn and yes, he adopted it and sang it at work as well—employees then did it, too!
I just loved the story of these two men, one Jewish the other a Christian. What does it remind me of—we are all God’s children and together, one step at a time, with God’s help, we can make the changes for our own body, soul and mind, and then for the world. Yet, we often want to “see the distant scene” especially in these times of political unrest, shootings, inflation, health issues, horrific climate problems, etc.—and we can’t figure out why God is not giving us a ‘heads-up’. Sorry, God isn’t going to let us see the distant scene, so that calls us to take a major move and put our trust in God—period!
Hebrews 4:16 [NLT] gives us a promise from God who’s promises never fail: “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
We need to quit looking for what will come. It’s better to embrace the gift of God’s promise that we have a lamp for our feet 24/7 rather than a crystal ball future that fails every time. We don’t need to know what will happen tomorrow when we believe that God’s grace is there for us any time we need it—that’s a promise we can “take to the bank!” AMEN.