I don’t think I am cut out for walking.
Throughout the last week, I have been experimenting with using walking as a viable form of exercise. Every day around lunch time, I see my 2 elderly neighbors don their large, square black sunglasses and shuffle around my house and over to the Department of Transportation and back and I think, surely, they must be on to something and while I’m at it, if they can do it, I can do it. And on the one hand, sure, I can, and it isn’t that walking itself is hard. It’s not. But as I explore what is the best time of day to trot out into the wild blue yonder, I keep discovering things that make me feel this is not really for me.
Yesterday, I did my earliest walk yet — like an absolute fool. I headed out at 7:30 am, when there was light in the sky, but so that I would have plenty of time to get cleaned up before homeschooling the kids, and holy bagumba there was a lot of traffic. I normally do this nice little HIIT interval walk (I downloaded an app and everything, because are you really exercising without an app?) and I get down to the furthest flower stand, hop across the road and come back down the side.
Not this morning.
The stream of cars and trucks absolutely never stopped, which meant I was walking close enough to the vehicles for an ambitious passenger to reach out and straighten my glasses. This, perhaps it goes without saying, makes my naturally introverted soul writhe. But I press on, and I attempt friendly smiles and wave when they let me across the rather narrow bridge without smashing me like a grape.
The only way I really found to get through this particularly miserable walk was to pay close attention to the ground, and in so doing, I was struck with that phrase in scripture: “Throw off the sin that so easily entangles.” Based on the side of the road, some one has been taking that exhortation quite literally, and today, so shall we. Allow me to catalogue a few of the items I have found (and not touched. I don’t actually have a death wish, despite walking during morning rush hour), and see if we can’t draw a spiritual comparison. Shoes tied?
Water bottles — let go of those small refreshments, that “self-care” that only really satisfies you for about one good swig. Go to the Fountain and get Living Water that has no limit, that satisfies you with eternal life itself.
Used ear plugs — look, honestly, at what you are using to block your ears from the good news that Christ came to save sinners and (wait for it) you are one, and throw it off. Throw off your self-sufficiency, your self-help, your pride and your shame and hear the Savior, who is calling you. Drop everything that keeps you from Him.
Masks — take your fear and chuck it from you, as hard as your feeble arms are able, into the nail-printed hands — only He can crush the fear that has been crushing you and, best news ever, He did. He is sovereign over everything, and when He came to crush death, He didn’t do it by halves. He crushed all of death’s miserable, sniveling cronies too. Fear, anxiety, worry — all put under His bruised heel. Stop trying to pick it back up again.
A bag of onions — drop your crying. I don’t mean the sort of crying that weeps with those who weep, I am talking about the crying you do when you see the world going to hell in a handbasket and you despair. Because no matter how it looks in this tiny sliver of time, hell is not where this world is headed — redemption is. This world belongs to the Lord Jesus and He has got it. Drop your hanky. You don’t need it anymore.
White Claw can — seriously. Stop drinking fake beer. Drop your misconceptions about God’s gifts, let go of your shallow, small view of God’s gifts and instead open your eyes and be amazed. Taste and see that the Lord is good! Which is to say, drink a dark beer every now and again.
A bra — phew, this one gets a little tricky, but I am feeling ambitious, so here we go: let go of all the ways that you refuse to let down for others. Use what God has given you, and feed people. Now do me a favor and try not to take this metaphor too far — drop the symbolic bra, nothing more, unless you are actually a nursing mother. I am working with raw material here…
A ziploc full of once-frozen corn — stop getting tripped up trying to preserve yourself. Dump your energy out on the people God has given you, by all means die and die again, over and over as long as He gives you breath! You know what happens to preserved energy and love when it meets the road? It rots. And if you don’t believe me, come take a walk.
Sadly, I could go on (any organizations looking to adopt a road, come talk to me), but you get the idea. So lace up. You have a race to run today — time to untangle your feet.