Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Walk Alone Can Slow You Down

Today I Went for a Walk

You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. Deut 5:33 ESV

Now a walk might not seem like anything to write home about. I’m sure many of you went for a walk today too. But for me it was a bit of a reawakening to the world around me.

You see I’ve been busy! I’ve been going from work to fun activity to more work and more fun…in fact between my husband’s party to celebrate his doctorate and my birthday weekend, there have been weeks of awesome good times with friends and family mixed in with time spent juggling the many work hats I wear.

I confess…I’ve been rushing past, rushing through, going from thing to thing. 

Many of them good things. But I have missed some simple beauty along the way. And this morning’s walk reminded me of this.

I didn’t choose to walk today. I had to walk because there was no car to get me from my home to my bible study. Normally, I’m doing “something” (my husband refers to these as secret chores) up until the last minute before I rush into my car and rush off to a meeting, engagement, chore, activity. It could be straightening my room, loading the dishwasher, reading a quick devo.

But today, I needed to plan a little more. In order to walk to my destination and get there on time, I had to leave a few minutes earlier than normal. And for this always-running-late-and-trying-hard-not-to gal, that requires discipline and focus (Anybody??).

So I donned my sneakers and headed out the door with a very light load of my purse and book.

I felt like something was missing, a little unsettled. I felt funny…uncomfortable. It was so quiet. There was no one else out walking. Usually if I walk, I walk with my husband and occasionally a sister or friend. And if I’m not walking with someone, I am at least walking my dog. Today I was ALONE!

Should I put my earphones on and plug into my phone and make a phone call? Or maybe put on some music or a podcast? I know, I can pray. I can't just walk, can I, allowing my thoughts to drift? There must be something I can do along the way…something to make this walk count for something. Something INTENTIONAL. Something USEFUL. 

There must be something else I can do while walking. Something I can check off my To-Do list maybe?

I decided not to do anything but walk.

And that little walk became a gift. The gift of allowing my thoughts to turn to what was right in front of me. <==Click to Tweet

I noticed the many flowers along the way…the hydrangeas are in full bloom. I noticed some gardens are getting crowded with weeds. There were cardinals swooping past me, along with common sparrows, and a mocking bird. Some sidewalks were bumpy and in need of a little TLC. Some were brand spanking new. There were lawns trimmed with the utmost precision and others straggly and scattered with clover. A few construction workers dug a ditch deep into a front yard, sweat glistening in the morning heat. When I got to an intersection, there was a woman and her dog, a mama with her mama and a new baby in a carriage. Little slices of life all around me. They brought me joy in the quiet of paying attention.

My little walk may have seemed like an inconsequential means of getting from one place to another…but it was so much more!

It was a reminder that:
·       All my time does not have to be filled with conversation, learning, doing, purpose.
·       As I rush from thing to thing, I am missing the simple quiet pleasure of being in the moment.
·       My mind needs a break, a little space to just wander.
·       Even this extrovert needs a little time alone.

I have been to busy again. It’s a trap I can easily fall into. I’m thankful for my walk today. It woke me up to the beauty of simplicity that is right in front of me.

Are you missing the beauty that’s right in front of you?

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