The following is an excerpt from some writing I’ve been doing lately.
Do you enjoy walking? I do, most of the time. Sure there are those moments at a concert or some largely populated activity when walking seems completely overrated because of the massive amount of cars and people present. But let’s be honest. That’s mostly a first world problem created by the constantly encroaching laziness of mine, and subsequent generations.
Many people walk because it’s their only means of transportation. Many do it for exercise. Many do not do it at all because of a disability.
I love recreational walking, i.e. hiking. This past weekend I spent over forty hours on a mountain with students and staff from our ministry. During a planned lull in Saturday’s schedule the majority of our group went for a jaunt around the mountain. It was spectacular.
The weather was lovely. The sky was a blazing azure blue mottled by streaky wisps of cotton-esque clouds. The temperature was flirting with the fifties. It was a great afternoon. We turned a two mile, two hour walk, into a four hour hike by snaking back and forth via interconnected trails and stopping frequently to soak up the serenity of it all. It was a memorable moment shared with cherished friends that I won’t soon forget, and it might not have happened.
What if we’d experienced the type of weather that typically accompanies January in Arkansas? What if we’d packed or planned too much activity for the short weekend retreat? What if no one had wanted to participate?
Christians regularly use the phrase, “walking with God.” It’s an innocent enough little idiom that references a passage from Genesis. Genesis 5:24 tells the story of Enoch walking with God, and “God taking him.” When I think of this phrase I can’t help but think back on our little hike this past weekend and not draw some serious spiritual parallels from all of the “what ifs”.
What if I let the seasons of my life, the ups and downs, the hot or cold moments of emotion, dictate the depth of my relationship with the Almighty? Many people will never understand the goodness and sovereignty of God simply because they spend to much time fearing the apparent storm clouds looming over their life and not nearly enough time in communion with “the Peace Speaker.”
What if I let the rapid paced, day-plannered, über-busyness of my lifestyle squeeze out my time with God? It would be easy to do. So many do it. However, my quiet time with Him is one of my most cherished daily moments. To make it habitual it must take priority, always. My life gets busy, as I’m sure yours does, but I’m never too busy to begin, or end, the day without spending time with God.
What if I had to do this alone? It’s a scary thought. One of the prevailing feelings among young people today in our social media saturated society is the palpable permeance of loneliness. The facts are clear. As Christians in America we are not alone. If we think we are alone it is really only because we choose to be, or–we have been deceived. There are great Christ-centered faith families in every town, county, and parish in this country.
I can only hike so far. Physically I can only do so much. My breath, legs, lungs, and strength will only take me as far as it can take me. The trail ends, my strength ends, or my time ends. Walking with God is a walk that starts and never ends.