As evident here and here, I'm a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings, and specifically of Samwise Gamgee. Yesterday I watched The Fellowship of the Ring, and there was one short scene that stood out to me. As Sam and Frodo are leaving the Shire, Sam stops a few steps behind Frodo. "This is it," Sam whispers.
"This is what?" Frodo asks, turning around to see what Sam is talking about.
Sam hesitates, then says, "If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been."
Frodo smiles and says, "Come one Sam." After another pause, Sam steps forward.
They continue on as though nothing happened, and Frodo asks, "Remember what Bilbo used to say?" His voice fades into Bilbo's as we hear the old hobbit's advice to Frodo. "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
Sam took that single step. Just one step took him farther than he'd ever been before, and that was the beginning of the journey that swept him off and changed him forever. If he had been afraid to go just one step further than before, none of it would have happened. Frodo would never have come close to Mordor, and Sam wouldn't have become the incredible hobbit he is at the end of the story.
When we are faced with a new challenge that pushes us the farthest we've ever gone, we could hold back. We could say, "No, I don't want to do this. I don't want to step out of what I know." We could refuse to take that single step. But one little step was the beginning of Sam's transformation from hobbit to hero, and one step can be the beginning of our journey. We can do great things, impossible things. We can even walk into Mordor. But an incredible journey can only begin if we're willing to take one more step.