Let’s Go For a Walk!

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 NIV

Walking is so much a part of my daily routine that I guess someone might categorize me as a “walkaholic.” Not that I walk terribly far, because as I have gotten older the distance thing is out. But everywhere we have traveled, every neighborhood we have lived in I have walked. I have walked streets in Brazil, Nepal, Switzerland and India. I have walked around hotels, around town at my sister-in-law’s and every park within 15 miles. Of course, there is nothing spiritual about putting one foot in front of the other, but there are I think God likes to walk. In fact, throughout the Bible lots of people walked with God. All through the Bible people walked with God. Noah, walked faithfully with God (And got to build an ark!) Abraham was told to walk before the Lord. David even asked God to show Him His paths (see Psalm 25). In today’s verse, the Prophet Micah tells us to walk humbly with the Lord. So, what is there about walking that is important?

First walking says, “I am here!” I am sad after spending 30 minutes walking and see no one else outdoors except an occasional dogwalker. There are few children playing, no one in the gardens or cooking on the grill. All the garage doors are closed, and everyone is inside. It feels as if people are missing any connection to the place God has put them.

Secondly, when we walk, we tell others we are available. At first, it is difficult to get a smile or wave returned when we say good morning but stick with it. Peter and John healed a lame man while they were out on a walk. Jesus hiked over to a nearby village and there raised a widow’s son from the dead and He called Matthew to follow Him as He passed him on a city street. Walking connects us to where God puts us, and it also connects us to His purpose for putting us there – other people!

Last of all, God asks us to walk because it takes us out of our home and moves us closer to His. After all, in the book of Genesis we find out that Enoch walked with God and the Bible says, “God took him.” Now that’s either the shortest or the longest walk in history. “Hey honey I’m going out for my walk!” Enoch calls to his wife and then suddenly poof – he’s gone! Oh but the distance he and God traveled that day was immeasurable. “Hey Enoch, check out those thunder clouds,” or “How do you like this view of the Milky Way?” That has only happened twice in history but whether God takes us home directly while we are out of our house on the way to His is His choice. What matters is opening our doors, taking a step outside and walking where He leads! Have a blessed day walking with the Lord! I hope you will enjoy the photos of just a few of the places that I have gone for a walk.

Consider

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29 ESV

One of the earliest memories I have of mom is her typing furiously on her Royal typewriter at the kitchen table. The melody of the tapping keys, punctuated by “ding” at the end of each line often, soothed me to sleep when I lay down for naps. Whenever mom wrote another book, she first began with research, which I think she liked the best. Being a Sci-Fi writer, she wanted to make sure her background on the people, planets and space travel actually fit with real science. In one of her books there were people who got around the way bats do, by their hearing. So, she studied braille, talked with blind people and asked them a million questions. Then after months of brainstorming, researching and outlining she began the rough draft with pen and paper. Because mom never had an office, the tall stacks of paper sat in piles on end tables, her nightstand or any handy flat surface in the house. Then came the second draft, on a thin cheap paper called onion skin. The wonderful nature of onion skin is that any attempt at erasure invariably leaves a hole in the page! This, mom meticulously edited, crossing off paragraphs here and there and filling the margins with notes accompanied by circles and arrows. Finally, after months of work, she was ready to break out the higher quality bond paper and begin her finished manuscript. The typing on the final was slower and mistakes were gently erased, with the correct letter carefully typed over the spot. Yet even after all the work that went into her manuscript, the journey from an idea to a book was not over. I still remember the day when she received the acceptance letter for her first book. You would think this might be a time of celebration, but far from it. The publisher was ready to publish the book only on the condition that she cut the book down from 500 to 250 pages. Mom burst into angry tears, shouting various things about the editor and then sat down and began her work again. Thinking back, I am amazed how anyone wanted to be a writer!

Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina on Pexels.com

In today’s world of word processing that cuts and pastes and autocorrects while smoothly and silently generating text, we move too quickly. We breeze through thousands of words, without taking time to consider the details. When Jesus tells us to consider the lilies of the field, He is saying more than just, “Don’t worry be happy!” He is telling us “Slow down enough to notice the lilies.”  Instead, we speed ahead, forgetting that God when spoke lilies into existence, He didn’t hurry. He carefully designed their root system and leaves and, chose the color of the blossom for every variety. Yet we rush past what God has given us, not only in His creation but in the lives of the people around us. He is commanding us to slow down, so we can see the beauty of people and flowers, noticing every detail and hovering like a hummingbird, appreciating its sweetness. Only then can the peace of God will flow into our minds as we consider, linger and trust that God has every detail of every day under His amazing and loving control!

The Grandfather I Never Knew

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6 ESV

The fading photograph of he and my grandmother sits on our bookshelf, and the shadow of his hat covering his eyes makes me wonder what color they were. Though our youngest son is named after him, the life he once lived is as mysterious to me as the lost continent of Atlantis. All I know is that at the ripe old age of 16, he boarded a steamer in Naples and arrived in New York to begin a new life with the help of three brothers who had come before.

All that remains behind is a 100-year-old barber kit that sits on the dresser in our guest bedroom and an antique barber chair that a local shop bought from my cousin. I never heard his voice or knew what his favorite food was. He never took me for ice-cream or walked with me to a park. But my grampa missed these things, not because he was a bad guy, rather as a result of my parent’s less than amicable divorce and his passing away just two years after I was born.

This morning as I was thinking about all I missed from never knowing my grandparents, I remembered our grandchildren. The Bible says that God has given them to us as a crown. and a crown should be on our head, just as grandchildren should always on our mind. When we give them our time, watching a movie together or playing with them in the back yard, we are giving them the memory of the sound of our laugh, the touch of our hand and the color of our eyes. As we share in every little moment – yes, even the hard ones, they will want to know why we pray with them as we put them to bed. They will remember the songs we sing as they sit by us in church and every hug when we can no longer be there to hold them. Though we may not leave them trust accounts brimming with cash, if they receive our faith then they have received our greatest treasure. Grandchildren are given us as a crown, so while we have breath let’s not be the grandparents they never knew. Instead, may our lives remind them, when they are in the middle of their own storms, to trust in Jesus and find that He is the one who has known them and loved them from the beginning of time!