Did you know it takes walking 10,000 steps or 4.5 miles a day to lose
one pound? I bought a pedometer and was disheartened to see that I
walked about 3,000 steps in a day.

But on one particular occasion, one hundred steps made a difference.

My husband, Don, and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio for business. We
checked in, got settled in our room, and Don departed in our car to
attend a meeting. I basked in the peace and quiet, and took out a book
to read.

Soon hunger pains pulled me from my book. I needed a snack, so I phoned
the front desk to ask where I could find a vending machine. The woman
who answered informed me there were no vending machines in the hotel.

With another persistent growl from my stomach, I picked up the room
service menu. Fifteen dollars for a salad? I decided I wasn\’t that
hungry. I didn\’t relish the idea of walking around an unfamiliar city,
and wanted to eat a nice, elegant meal in the hotel dining room with my
husband, so as a last resort, I scrounged around in my purse and found
a protein bar. I devoured it in record time!

When Don came through the hotel door two hours later, I jumped up and
hustled him back down to the restaurant. While seated in front of a
large bank of windows, I had an unobstructed view of the shops I\’d seen
earlier.

“How do we get to those stores?” I asked the waiter.

“There\’s a walkway right from our lobby, ma\’am!”

After dinner, we found the walkway. We passed at least a dozen eateries
– a pizza parlor, a Chinese restaurant, and numerous establishments
serving varied cuisine. I could have easily gotten a dinner for two for
the cost of one salad on the room service menu.

With one hundred steps, we emerged into one of the most beautiful malls
I\’d ever seen. The ceilings soared, revealing three stories with
hundreds of shops. As we walked, I marveled at the magnificent
Christmas displays. Multicolored ornaments the size of basketballs hung
in clusters. Sparkling white lights hung from the highest points to
cascade in sheets like snow falling from the sky. Car-sized wreaths
decorated every wall.

The centerpiece of the décor was a three story Christmas tree, and at
its base, a niche had been formed. A huge ornate chair encrusted with
colored stones and sprayed liberally with glitter sat inside, reserved
for that special someone – Santa.

In an attempt to walk off our dinner, we strolled through all three
floors. I enjoyed the decorations, but as happens frequently with
public holiday displays, not one crèche, shepherd, or baby Jesus could
be found. The closest thing to an angel consisted of a pair of feathery
wings in the window of a lingerie store.

I thought of how easily I could have walked one hundred steps to search
for food to satisfy my physical hunger, but had I been hunting in the
mall for something to satisfy my spiritual hunger or any type of
display to know the true meaning of Christmas, my search would have
been in vain.

I thank God it doesn\’t take a hundred steps to find the Christmas\’s
true meaning. It only takes one – a solitary step of faith to believe
in Jesus Christ as Savior.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in
your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 niv

In the same way I rummaged through my purse to find sustenance, many
people search to fill the hunger in their souls. Some follow steps set
forth by men in their zeal to perform for God.

Jesus already paid our sacrifice, and says in His word that He alone is the way to the Father.

John 14:6 niv – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

It would have been helpful if the lady I spoke to at the front desk had
given me directions to the eateries in the mall. I pray that during
this Christmas season and long after, my witness will serve as a
walkway so others may be encouraged to take that one step of faith. My
hope is that I will be one who gives direction to people who are
hungering spiritually.

And next time I take a trip, I\’m packing snacks!

Prayer: Lord, help me be a display of Your love. May I lead others to You. In Jesus\’ Name I pray. Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).