Yesterday I walked around 12 miles. It was more than I normally walk in a day. The average day here in Edinburgh is about 4-5 miles. We had a bit of an emergency that caused me to walk to and from school a couple more times than normal. On top of that, running was in my workout yesterday morning. So, by the end of the day, I had put in about 12 miles.
If you had asked me a year ago if I ever thought I would walk 12 miles in a day, I would have said probably not. Yet, here I am walking that much without a second thought. Walking has allowed me a lot of time to think, a lot of time to listen to podcasts, and a lot of time to pray. I appreciate the opportunity that walking has given me. It has forced me to slow down.
The last few years of my life, I have constantly been going. I think part of American culture is taking great value in being busy, always moving, going fast and hard at everything. You ask someone how they are doing, and the response is busy. Having to walk or take the bus to some places requires me to be patient, to slow down, to relax. That isn't to say that I don't feel like I have to get things done and that I am busy and need to be at work, I often do. However, walking everywhere has taught me not to worry or stress out. I will get to where I need to be - it may be slower than I want, but I will get there.
I think this is why the Christian life is so often described as a walk. More often than not, it is a slow plodding one foot in front of the other. Sometimes you go at a run, but more often you are just walking. We may want growth in this or that area, but so often in our journey as Christians it doesn't happen quickly. So we walk. We walk slowly. We walk with others. We walk trusting that if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, if we just follow the path set before us, we will get to the place we need to be.
This has not been an easy lesson for me to learn. At times I still feel the stress of thinking I am not moving fast enough. I get anxious because I don't have every hour of my day planned out perfectly. Yet in the midst of that, I am learning. I am learning to slow down, to take time just to think, to pray, to listen, and observe the world around me.
So now, I am off for a slow walk to school.