If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. – Galatians 5:25
In an effort to stay healthy and fit the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about the benefits of various types of exercise, especially weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training).
If I don’t work out, I can expect to lose muscle tone and bone density.
Apparently, I could eventually become an amoeba.
But if I do work out, I can fight the aging process and maintain my physical and mental health for many years to come.
It’s been encouraging to experience those results for myself. Despite the passage of time, I’m far more fit than I was a decade ago.
But there’s still more I can do. Recently, I read that middle-aged women in particular can benefit from good old-fashioned walking. Instead of pushing myself every day with a tough workout, I can – and should – take a day off from that sort of routine and go for a long walk. And I shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
While tough workouts elevate stress hormones, walking – especially in nature – does the opposite. It lowers those stress hormones and lifts one’s spirits. It raises the heart rate, aids digestion, strengthens and stretches muscles, and improves sleep quality.
So, all that to say, I’m not quite sure why I haven’t incorporated walking into my fitness routine. Perhaps it seems unlikely that such a simple exercise could change my life for the better as the experts say it could.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? – Micah 6:8
My reading about walking brought to mind how often it is mentioned in the Bible, especially in the Epistles: walking in the Spirit, walking circumspectly, walking humbly with the Lord, and so on.
The Greek word for walking means, well, just what one might think: a continual state of moving forward, steadily and intentionally. The Christians of the time would have been quite comfortable with Scriptural references to walking, as it was their main mode of transportation. They walked everywhere, from the twice daily trip to the village well, to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Though walking absorbed much of their time and energy, they probably didn’t think about setting aside time to do it, or consider what their lives would be like without all that walking.
Walking was just a normal part of their culture and their lives.
For me, the well-used phrases “the Christian walk” and “my daily walk with God” have taken on fresh meaning.
My walk with God should be just as the verb implies: a regular, steady movement forward. It won’t always be beautiful or exciting, though there will be such moments along the way.
But it should be a daily activity. It should be so much a part of my life that I can’t imagine not taking that walk with Him.
And when I look over my shoulder at the miles I’ve traveled, I will see that I’ve made progress. My soul will reap the health benefits – peace, joy, strength, and more – of regularly walking with the Savior.
Do you enjoy walking? How would you describe your walk with God? I look forward to your comments.