Walk This Way

In January, as a birthday gift from my family, I received a Fitbit© fitness tracker.  Because of this high tech ‘wristwatch’, I have become aware of so many aspects of my life and health: this little gizmo tracks things like my steps, my sleep, my resting heart rate and my hours of activity.  I am particularly obsessed with my step count and have begun to enjoy the sensation of personal accomplishment that comes from reaching my daily goal of eight-thousand steps.  Plus, when you are walking 8,000 steps, generally over the same terrain, you begin to notice things that have escaped your attention if you were driving by.  As I evaluate where my steps have taken me, I realize that where I walk is how I live.

Walking gives you the time to exchange pleasantries with those you are passing on the sidewalks or front porches along the path.  Walking affords you the opportunity to observe the repairs being made to gorgeous old houses and those that are still desperately needed.  Walking prepares you to keep your distance from that big unfriendly dog that is always guarding his fenced front yard (the fence of which is seriously too low).  Walking provides you the time to check out what others are discarding and time to think about how you could use that dresser or night table on that great and glorious day when space is no longer a concern.  Walking enables you to feel the sunshine and the gentle rain, invigorating the soul.

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.  …  And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.   2 John 4,6

John’s second letter to the church tells believers that we must walk (or have the lifestyle) of truth and obedience and love.  These are not individual commands but a singular multi-faceted directive.  Part of my daily walk involves walking in the truth, putting feet to the gospel, walking in such a way that shows that God loves the residents of Geneva Avenue as deeply as the residents of Commonwealth Avenue.  Part of my daily walk involves walking in obedience, putting feet to biblical integrity, walking in such a way that shows that God’s people stay on the sidewalks and resist trespassing onto the lawn.  Part of my daily walk involves walking in love, putting feet to grace and mercy, walking in such a way that shows those who I encounter a willingness to offer my assistance and my understanding.

I have been asking myself a question as I walk: does how I go and where I go project the truth, obedience and love I have in God?  In order to answer that question as I should, I need to remind myself that walking is more than a means of getting from one point to another, but an opportunity to slow down and engage in the life all around us.  Walking is one way we serve the community as the body of Christ.  It is more than an exercise for fitness; it is an exercise of faith.

One response

  1. ​Mike –

    Wonderful article providing a sound thought about an increasing lost part of life: Walking. Brought back a flood of memories.

    When a kid 11-15 years old several of my friends and me would spend a day like today by walking from our Hartford neighborhood to Batterson Park in New Britain, about a casual eleven mile saunter. Along the way we’d stop to look into store windows, enjoy a five cent soda as we walked, look at new cars displayed street-side by automobile dealers, etc. A standard walk would take about 3.5 hours. Arriving at the park, we’d strip to our bathing suits and swim off-on for 2-3 hours. Starting our return walk we’d carry out shorts in a WWII musket (?) bag, like a small knapsack while our bathing suits dried. A favorite stop while leaving New Britain was at Roy’s Clam Shack, a small mostly take-away stand. A half pint of the best fried clams ever (still!) was fifty cents, a pint eighty cents. Several wedges of lemon, a long wooden fork and several napkins completed the purchase. We’d dine while walking. The trash was tossed into a city bin usually on a street corner.

    When in the BSA as a patrol leader on a weekend camping trip, my team often arrived at the home-bound transportation point before other teams, the walk time being roughly five MPH with a decent-sized back pack, canteen, knife/machete and medical pack.

    Several times I walked from Hartford to Wilson, a Windsor township abutting the northern border of Hartford, about eight miles, to visit a girl friend, just because the day was so nice. My evening return trip was by buses.

    Those were wonderful days …

    Be well.



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