It amazing how many good things in life happen during a walk. Some of my favorite memories of life with people I love happened during a walk. I remember walking along with both my dad and my mother at different times and hearing them share things about life that I suspect would never have been said if we were sitting down and waiting for a conversation. Some of the greatest memories I have of life with my wife, Linda, have happened as we walked. Even when we were dating some of our favorite times happened as we walked along the road, by a stream or even through the woods. As years have passed the times we have walked and talked about every kind of thing you can imagine, our love has grown and we have even solved a few problems along the way as we walked. Wonderful and tearful memories are there about walks with our daughters often with them telling about their dreams and sometimes about a boy they were interested in. Sometimes it was all about my efforts to explain something to them that I thought was important. Strangely the ones I remember best aren’t the ones with me trying to get something across to them.
What makes going for a walk such a powerful thing? Have you noticed how many of the stories about Jesus and his ministry on this earth center around times when he was walking. He was walking by the sea side when he saw Matthew, the tax collector and called him to “Follow me.” Matthew left the tax booth, never to return and became one of the trusted apostles of Jesus. It was as he walked along the way that Jairus the Synagogue leader came to him in a rush pleading for him to come and lay his hands on his little daughter since she was very ill. As they walked toward his home to heal the daughter, the woman with an issue of blood came up behind him to touch the hem of his garment and be healed. It was so often the case that Jesus used those times walking to talk to the apostles about some life issue that was important for them to know. Think of the fact Jesus never had a pulpit to preach from. He used the roads, the paths as his pulpit and shared the message wtih multitudes in the process. By the way, his preaching and teaching on the roadside wasn’t like some madman shouting to the crowds as they passed by. It was carrying on a conversation with people who came to him and it changed their lives.
I wonder how many people in later years thought back to those days when they took a walk with Jesus. Do you suppose those two men who were on the road to Emmaus after the death of Jesus in Jerusalem ever forgot that walk when Jesus joined them and he set their hearts aflame as he talked with them and shared the real meaning of so much of the Old Testament they had never understood correctly. It wasn’t until they sat down to eat together that they recognized him in the breaking of bread. Jesus obviously loved to walk and talk and share with people. There is even one occasion as he walked along that Luke tells us he was praying privately to the Father in the middle of a bunch of people including the apostles. He knew well how to walk and pray at the same time.
I think, many of the problems of life could be solved if we took a good walk together. Not a march, and certainly not a riot, but a gentle, unhurried walk where we lovingly shared about life. Let’s go for a walk.