“Life is a journey. When we stop, things don't go right.”

Pope Francis

I had the great joy of getting together recently with a good friend I hadn’t seen in a while. As we shared a beer and caught up on all the things that good friends do, we were reminded of a few of our funniest moments and one moment that was no laughing matter. We reflected on one of the only significant disagreements we have ever had in our long friendship. It lasted for months and caused a lot of unnecessary frustration and hurt for both of us.

As we reminisced with the situation now gratefully well in the rearview mirror, we were both able to articulate the chronology of the tiff with a lot more fact and a lot less emotion. We also both agreed on the most important lesson from the whole ordeal. It wasn’t the difference in our perspectives or opinions that caused most of the hurt, but rather the similarity in our response. Neither one of us was willing to take the first step toward understanding, toward reconciliation. It wasn’t until someone went first and the other responded in kind that we got somewhere so much better.

As I hugged my friend and drove home grateful for that relationship, I couldn’t help but wonder where else in my life and leadership I was consciously or unconsciously involved in a stalemate. What giant leaps forward am I missing out on because I am unwilling to take one small step in the right direction? Whether it’s fear or anger or defensiveness, what keeps me from going first? What freedom would I share with another by placing that call, sending that text, or making that drive? In my relationship with the Lord, do I know that He keeps moving toward me regardless of how still I stay or how many steps back I take?

I couldn’t believe that the absence of one small step with a friend could have led to one giant hole in my life. As we consider all of the steps we take in the week ahead, let’s be women and men who go first, who take the first step, so we can all move closer toward the One who defines ultimate friendship.

by Daniel Cellucci

November 14, 2022

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