Take a Step Back

Gwen SmithBlog 3 Comments

I gave her instructions for the job. “Remove the chairs from the room, vacuum thoroughly, and then I will show you how to mop the wood floor.” Once my daughter got through the first two of three steps, I joined the cleaning party to teach the age-old-mom-class, “Mopping 101.”

Class began with a few mopping fundamentals. “Shake the bottle of polish before you use it. Do one small section at a time. Mop along the grain of the wood. Put some muscle into it and always – always take a step back to see if you missed any spots.” I gave a quick demonstration, then Kennedy took the mop and got busy on her weekend wood-floor polishing project.

As I walked away, it hit me.

The lesson.

In order to see where the polish had been applied on the floor – in order to see if there were any mistakes or overlooked places – a mopper needs to step back and look at things from a different angle. From a fresh perspective.

To gain perspective in life, we often need to step back too: away from our emotions, our plans and our expectations – in order to consider the big picture. The God-picture.

It’s so easy to get lost in the drama-filled challenges of life and become overwhelmed by our circumstances. Can I hear an Amen? I do this all the time! I get sucked into the drama of a moment and see only what my emotions allow me to see: a dim, slim and flesh-led view.

Let’s be honest, we all have some level of drama and expectations. And that’s not a bad thing. But when our emotions lead our responses, it can be difficult to see beyond our moments and mountains. When our hearts are consumed by the emotions of a moment, we can lose sight of what honors God and what really matters.

So, what’s a woman to do?

Take a step back. Pray. Ask God for vision and perspective. Consider His Word. Remember His power, provision, and plan. Move beyond self-led reactions to Spirit-led responses. The late pastor and theologian A.W. Tozer wrote, “Sometimes when we get overwhelmed we forget how big God is.”

Our perspectives change in God’s presence. We gain clarity and peace when we adapt God’s perspective instead of our own. His sight is pure, full of grace and eternal – while our sight is imperfect, narrow and worried about the now. The wise King Solomon encouraged us this way, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3 NIV).

David often stepped back in awe of God’s love. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4 NIV)

He reflected on his own ways versus God’s ways. “I meditate on your precept and consider your ways” (Psalm 119:15 NIV). “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes” (Psalm 119:59 NIV).

Jesus also encourages us to step back from worries and fears. ““Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:24-26 NIV)

As we consider the ways God provided in the past, it helps us to trust Him in the present.

Kennedy rocked the mop that day in our kitchen because she heeded my directions and consistently drew back to gain perspective on her polishing. Step back today and position yourself in His grace. Consider the big picture. Lay your day, your plans, your thankfulness, your people, your problems, your wins and your losses before God. Trust His ability to work in and through it all. Relish the perspective and peace that rises and then be prepared for those around you to be drawn to the able, faithful God who is at work within you.

Dear Lord, You are good, loving and faithful – and You know exactly what I’m facing.
Please take this burden from me and help me to fall into a deeper place of trusting You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



What will that look like for you? Are you ready to step back? Click over to the post and respond with a ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY!

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Comments 3

  1. It’s an awesome and wonderful piece “Take a step back”. Gave an insight that is so inspiring . Will try to practice it. Thanks.

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