When I lived in Chile I went to a Bible study at the parish church. We gathered around a man with bushy eyebrows to learn. He asked us, the people gathered round, ‘How did Abraham reach the Promised Land?’ Raise your hand if you know the answer. I was racking my brains thinking, surely I know the answer, after all, I have read the Bible.
I thought, the answer could not be the names of the tribal lands through which Abraham had passed going from Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan; the answer must lie in some sort of theological symbolism. Does no one know? He asked. Or it could be in a type of philosophical rationality or deep probing perspective from psychology that is well-known but I’ve forgotten? My brain was working hard and getting blanker by the minute. Nope, no one knew. Blank faces.
I’ll tell you how Abraham reached the Promised Land, our instructor told us with great authority and paused; “He put one foot in front of the other.”
Over the years, when feeling that I was getting nowhere with my writing, I’ve said to myself “How did Abraham reach the Promised Land?” And repeated the answer to myself: “He put one foot in front of the other.” He just kept going, one step at a time, until he got there. That is also what I’ll do.