Daily Answers: Jacob’s Ladder, One step at a time

Ek Balam, The bottom, December 2021

It’s tax season. If you know our family, you know what that means. We own a small CPA firm, Treasure Valley CPA. During tax season which is January through April 18 this year, my husband, Alden works from about 6 am-8:00 pm Monday-Friday and most of the day on Saturday. He meets with clients about their taxes from 8:30 am-6:00 pm every half hour with maybe a 30 minute break for lunch. We have three permanent employees with four seasonal employees this year. I work during tax season five days a week and the rest of the year one to two days a week. We have one child still at home who is fifteen so I’m trying to be here for him and get him where he needs to be. This year I’ve taken on more responsibilities at work and have felt overwhelmed. There are not enough hours in the day and especially enough hours at work to finish my tasks. And I love to complete tasks.

This morning during my scripture study, the question I asked was “How do I prioritize?” I can’t complete everything at work and home in the way I want. So what comes first? How do I accomplish all I need to do? I read in Genesis 28 about Jacob’s ladder and the Spirit taught me why Jacob dreamed of a ladder. A ladder has rungs and while you might have long legs and be able to bypass a step, you still have to climb to the top, step by step. You can’t fly up. You can’t just be at the top instantly. You have to go through the steps one at a time to reach heaven. That was my answer. All I can do is step by step. One day at a time.

In December Alden and I took a vacation to Cancun and visited Ek Balam, a Mayan ruin. I’ve seen pictures of people walking straight up the steps of the Mayan ruins, but our guide, Vanessa, suggested we use a different method. The steps were shallow, not deep enough for my whole foot. And they were steep with more height between each one than the stairs in our home. Vanessa suggested we walk up sideways with our foot parallel to the step starting at one side of the ruin and going across, then turning our bodies and repeating until we got to the top. We did a zig-zag type of pattern from the bottom to the top. I put one foot in front of the other and concentrated on the step in front of me. The top seemed very far away and very steep.

Ek Balam, the middle

But then we reached the top, and it was glorious!

Ek Balam, the top

We could see the jungle all around. We saw mounds that were likely other ruins that had been covered by the jungle growth. The site at the top was worth the climb.

Then we had to descend. Vanessa suggested we go down step by step sideways, leaning in towards the ruin. You can see people doing that in the first picture. And again, one step at a time, we made it.

I so much want to do everything right all the time, but I love that Jacob was taught that we progress in this life step by step with our priority, our focus on the glorious goal of eternal life. I don’t have to be, cannot be, instantly at that goal. It takes one moment, one day at a time, with my focus on that step, that person, that moment with the grace of Jesus Christ to reach the top.