The Apostle Paul continues his encouragement to the church at Colossae with the impossible language of chapter two, verse seven:

…so walk in Him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith…

So, Paul says, move ahead, but remain immoveable. Go, but stay grafted in, constructed on a foundation and standing firm.

Walk forward like you’re glued to the ground.

So many of our days are spent up in our headspace, worrying and wondering about the next choice, the next response, the next consequences of action or inaction.

But Paul directs our gaze at the floor — our feet — four times in this one verse: walk, be rooted, be built, be established.

Pay attention to the foundation, he writes. Don’t consume yourself with the infinite highway of possibilities, the curving road of change. Look at what you stand on, where you’ll lay your next step:

Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Proverbs 4:26

Historically, I have been terrible at this feet thing. In high school, I made a chart of potential careers and rated them on a potential 20-year happiness scale. On the day I brought my first son home from the hospital, I used a calculator to add up the total number of meals I’d have to make for him before he left home for college. When my husband heard the call to preach, I went into panic mode, lunching with local pastor’s wives, trying to wring the wisdom of 30 years of ministry out into a 30-minute cup of coffee.

We’re all about forcing growth — wishing ourselves fully ready for the whole task before us. We scurry around, trying to manage it all or make a name for ourselves, or we shrink back in fear of our ability to greet the future, imagining the whole of it on our plate in one giant, horrible, choking bite.

We grasp at false and temporary maturity — external changes that never seem to seep all the way down to the heart of us.

But Paul knows the truth: we can only walk in Him when we’re rooted and built up and established. We only take real steps when we’ve studied and tested the foundation under our feet and know it won’t give way.

We can only change in things that matter when we know the things that matter don’t change.

So we grow, not by spending time in our heads, planning and goal-setting and discovering ourselves, but at our feet, knowing the Christ we stand on. We grow by devoting our time to who He is instead of who we are.

We grow by moving forward like we’re glued to the ground, by inching out on to the Rock of Salvation — the Cornerstone — the Sure Foundation — finding that the Amazing Grace who saved us will hold us fast, day after day.

Read the next post in The Colossians Project.