Today was my second day to turn off my podcast and invite Jesus to join me on my morning walk. My eyes once again filled with tears as I envisioned his presence walking quietly next to me. I wonder why I get emotional, but I hope this never fades. Perhaps my emotions stem from the inner burdens of these unusual days, along with the new awareness of the intimacy of our relationship; the tender feeling of being heard, understood, and companioned by my closest friend in these trying times.
I intentionally walked in silence for the first mile, hoping to allow the next question to reveal itself at the proper time. But I began to wonder if my pace was a comfortable one for him- and there I had my next question. A simple, practical one. “Am I walking too fast, Jesus?”
I thought of a few stories of Jesus in the Bible, and I first pictured Jesus casually sauntering from place to place. Then I pictured him walking with purpose and determination, quickly enough to get to his destination, but allowing for all the interruptions he encountered. Hmmm… then I had another thought: Jesus did not see interruptions as interruptions. He simply stopped to help or heal people as he walked along. My thoughts continued to reflect on more of those stories as I considered his pace and mine.
But I was suddenly shocked back to reality when I nearly stepped over a long black snake in the street! Oh my- the snake was at least three feet long! I have never seen one that large, even when I walk on hiking paths through nature. I was quite frightened and upset, so I was distracted from our conversation for a bit. Talk about an interruption!
While I gradually calmed, Jesus answered.
Your pace does not matter as much as your peacefulness in it. I hope you will learn to stop seeing interruptions as obstacles that keep you from getting to your goals. Life with me is about embracing everything as an important part of your path, an integral part of your journey.
You are meant to keep walking with me. To walk in peace, to go slowly when needed, and yes, even to stop in your tracks at times. To allow for the silences… and the secrets… and the spaces. The sunrises and the sunsets. They are all part of your journey with me. Even the snakes.
Trust that I will remain at your side, no matter what your pace may be. Just do not forget that I am with you; do not neglect me. Do not forget to hold my hand, to turn to me, to thank me, and to listen when I want to interrupt your thoughts.
May you stop ignoring the present moment in your pursuit, for the present moment should be your pursuit. Goals certainly help to guide, inform, influence and inspire your path. But your focus should be less about reaching the goal than about walking the present path well.
We continued our walk with a deep sense of quiet companionship. I felt grateful to have started this practice. “I am going to love this,” I thought.
“Stay with me Jesus, on this journey. Wherever it leads I know you are with me.” Tears.
I will stick with you Karen. I will be with you always.
My mileage tracker announces another mile. I notice that my pace has slowed.
Photo by Karen on a morning walk.