Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sensing Lent 25: Walking

Jesus would seem to have done a lot of walking. He walked by the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18); He walked on the Sea (Matthew 14:25); and he walked throughout the towns and villages proclaiming the good news of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23).

As with so many things I've noticed during Lent, the physical leads to the spiritual. The bible talks of walking as a metaphor for travelling through life, with or without God. God also promises 'I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be my people' (Leviticus 26:12). Famously God walked in the garden of Eden in the cool of the evening (genesis 2:8). It's a lovely image of unwinding at the end of a day, seeking fellowship with creation. Sadly, though God was walking, Adam and Eve were hiding. 

Walking seems a good way to pray too. Something about how it clears the head, the rhythm of feet assisting concentration in a a way sitting still doesn't. One foot in front of the other, directing one's thoughts God-ward. As well as a prayer chair, I often make use of a 'prayer hill'. And God's will is often described as trusting one step at a time.

Famously, the book of Psalms opens with walking: someone is blessed if they don't 'walk in the counsel of the wicked (Psalm 1:1). St John also wrote 'If we say we have fellowship with him, yet walk in the darkness, we lie' (1 John 1:16). And sometimes we have to 'walk through the valley of the shadow of death' (Psalm 23:4). 

And lastly, and very simply, wouldn't it be lovely to be like Enoch, who 'walked with God, and then he was not; for God took him' (Genesis 5:22). Walking with God one day; taken by him to glory the next. Perhaps without the element of extreme old age (he apparently lived for 365 years) I'd settle for that kind of walking any day.

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