God Friended Me
Most of us walk to exercise. Some stroll to take in the scenery. Some people walk fast and some walk slowly. Either way, walking or strolling with someone, captures the essence of sharing an activity.
When I walk with a friend, sometimes I forge ahead. Other times, I meander several steps behind.
However, I prefer the fellowship of a slow walk to connect. Connecting with a friend requires the person walking ahead to slow her gait, and the person pacing in the rear to activate her stride. This side-by-side activity encourages healthy relationships.
What about you? Do you regularly walk alongside others with an equal or unequal pace? How do you walk with God?
Our most significant relationship begins with God. This authentic companionship draws us close and cannot be severed. God spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:11). Jesus also called His disciples friends (John 15:15). Our association with God intimates a bond closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). When we remain in God’s presence, He friends us.
Undoubtedly, Enoch walked closely with the Lord, disappeared from earth, and immediately transferred to heaven. Not a break in stride or delayed steps hindered his communion with God. His constant fellowship mirrors our fellowship with Christ. Scripture tells us “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).
In much the same way, walking with God involves walking with a neighbor. Taking time to walk with someone nurtures connections. It’s a designated time, an agreement, by both persons willing to listen to what’s going on in each other’s day. The slow pace allows for it. I can’t listen when walking ahead or behind because it disconnects me from hearing my partners heart. Sometimes, I don’t realize how I position myself with others. The person lagging behind may be hurting. The person walking ahead might show unconcern. Yet, this unequal pace would be a good time to stop counting steps and calorie burning to focus on the relationship with God and others (Matthew 22:37-39).
Overcome the Relational Gap with the Spiritual
Unequal paces bring gaps in relationships and trespass on my ability to mend them. This is when I realize only God bridges the void and repairs the bonds with one another. Some people decide not to travel with me on my spiritual or relational journey. On the other hand, I may choose not to walk with certain people. I may show up unwilling to take a few steps back or a few steps forward to adjust the relationship. But it’s okay. God continues His work in me to prioritize the spiritual over the relational. And if both parties are willing to accept the spiritual as a priority, God is able to close the gap for healthy connections.
I can’t change another person; however, God can change me and my responses to others so my ordered steps promote a new way of walking. I remember God giving me a push and aligning my feet back to a life-saving place. At the time, I needed a push because I had slipped.
Many years ago, I went hiking with my girl scout troop. Forging up the mountain trail with girls in front of me and behind, we came to a wide opening on our path. Our training taught us to focus on the trail, step over the crevice, and not look down.
But when I came to the break, I looked down and lost my footing. Inwardly, I cried for help. None of my fellow scouts could hear. So, I began to descend with one foot on the trail and the other dangling over the edge. Suddenly, I felt a push forcing my swinging foot back onto the path. At the time, I could not give a name to that help. But I grew to understand, angels pushed me back onto the hiking trail and back in step with my girl scout companions. I suddenly found myself back in line and back in cadence with my fellow scouts.
Spiritual Pushes from God Saves Lives
Maybe that nudge to go on an early morning walk or an afternoon stroll to listen and share in the concerns of one another rescues your life or someone else’s.
Adjust your walk by heeding to the Spirit to get back in step with God and in fellowship with others. Walk in fellowship with God and others because Jesus is your guide (1John 2:6).
Maybe it’s time to move forward on your journey, close the gap with God, and come alongside others. God made a covenant with His people to walk in relationship. From this relationship He made a way for us to walk side by side with each other.
“I’m striding in the presence of God, alive in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:9).
Lord, guide me not to walk ahead of you or lag behind you, but walk in step with your purpose for my life.