Note: this is the second in a series of Morning Walks. Click here to read #1.
Walking has become my favorite form of exercise. Transparency here–I had no other forms of consistent exercise. Walking rose to the top with no competition.
I developed my regimen when I moved to North Carolina and a neighbor was my walking partner for conversation and company. The minutes passed, steps accumulated, and we made progress. We also solved world problems—or so we thought–and laughed hilariously sharing grandchildren updates. The bonus of pleasant weather, unlike the cold Pennsylvania climate I lived in for sixteen years, added enjoyment.
Once I moved to South Carolina with the same delightful climate, I walk alone. I miss my friend. My company now is my phone app. recording steps and miles to tell me how far I’ve gone, not only in numbers but comparison. “Today you have walked farther than yesterday.” Cue the applause.
On the other hand, sometimes a sad emoji appears, “You haven’t walked as much this week as this time last year”. There’s accountability staring at me in black and white, or red, as the numbers show.
This morning before I went out to walk, I read an excerpt from Paul Tripp’s book, My Heart Cries Out. I’ve referenced it before. His short readings have profound thoughts and this morning was no exception.
“Take a slow walk through the pages of scripture,” he encouraged.
A slow walk, not a rushed walk
So I pondered his words as I walked this morning. How does my morning walk compare to walking through the pages of scripture?
I pace my steps, note cracks in pavement and watch for sidewalks that aren’t level, warnings that I might trip.
I wave to a neighbor and exchange a few words about the weather and admire her dog’s blue bow –a pleasant conversation.
I check my distance periodically as I take different routes for variety.
I turn corners and see changes in landscaping.
I take a different route and find a street I didn’t know existed.
I occasionally stop after walking uphill, and sit on a bench, for a chance to rest and check my phone messages,
I admire my surroundings, thankful for a beautiful day.
I speak to another walker as we pass, but her earbuds and focus ahead gives no acknowledgement.
After careful reflections, the comparisons were as clear as a cloudless day. Cracks, warnings, words, changes, distance, variety, gratitude, attention.
When I take slow walks through scripture I see…
- Cracks in my heart–disappointments that don’t go away and hurts that surface, alerting me to ask God to fill those cracks so I stay on level ground and don’t trip. (Psalm 34:18)
- Opportunities for gratitude when I reflect on His faithfulness and unfailing love. (Lamentations 3: 22-23).
- His response to my need for comfort and refreshment by resting in Him.
- The Psalms address every human condition and season. Their variety and change of landscape offer no match.
- Notes in the margins of my Bible, a marked date, or an underlined phrase, reminders how my Creator God met me personally in rough patches of my life to create something new in and for me.
- My distance and take inventory of my life changes. Have I made new discoveries, “streets I didn’t know existed”? Am I moving that bookmark?
Walking is an opportunity to improve my health, marvel at God’s creation, and be thankful. Slow walks through scripture do the same and both are from the hand of God.
Your turn–what do your slow walks in your neighborhood and through scripture show you?