I was never a great fan of walking... I mean it takes forever. A journey that might take just a couple of minutes in your car can take an hour. Let's face it, walking takes time, patience, tenacity. Sometimes the very idea of walking somewhere can be overwhelming at first... after all it's SO far....
Since we've moved to Ireland I'm finding myself doing a great deal more walking and I'm actually enjoying it. (go figure!) Maybe you're wondering what's changed? How did I move from loathing it to loving it? That's something I've been thinking about... I mean for one who loves to drive, what happened?
Maybe you're thinking that it's good exercise. Okay! But actually I think that's more of a side benefit. The reality is the blessings of walking are much more profound. I've begun to discover that walking opens up my life to listen to people and to God. And, if that's not enough it also changes my perspective of the community in which I live. I'm noticing things and more importantly people. I feel more a part of this place I call home, even responsible.
Have you ever been driving on a Freeway or a Motorway while on vacation or holiday? You pass exits that are just a signpost to you, a way of marking your progress. Have you ever thought that for some people their whole life revolves around that exit and where it leads. It's home or perhaps where they work. What for us is nothing more than a signpost for them is life.
As I've begun to walk I'm more able to be part of the community I call home. It leads me to want to know better the people I see, and when I walk with God... He begins to open my eyes to see my community through HIS eyes. Allow me to explain...
There's this building in Wicklow that is abandoned, broken down and covered with tagging. Let's just say it's not a picture you'd see on the community website. It's an eye sore, yet in many ways, because of where it is, it's simply ignored. Up until yesterday I've dismissed it. I usually drive by it, but yesterday I walked by it, on purpose. I discovered it was built in 2006 to be a refuge for women in crisis. It never fulfilled the vision for which it had been built. In fact, as you can see the building sits vacant today. I've heard renewed calls to see that place redeemed for it's intended use. I thought about how the church might rise up and be the church. Let's face it, we're about seeing things and people redeemed, right?
I wonder... what might YOU notice in the community where YOU live if you simple hit the pavement and walked. I wonder how GOD might call you to get involved... to be an agent of reconciliation and redemption. I wonder!
I realize it can seem overwhelming at first..., not much different from the idea of walking somewhere can seem overwhelming when you look at it as a whole. Yet when you take one step at a time, you soon discover more than you ever imagined. Perhaps when we walk in this way we'll discover that we're doing exactly what JESUS calls us to do... we'll discover what it means to, "walk in love" 2Jn 6