When is the last time you went for a walk? Whether it was a casual stroll around the neighborhood or you were on a mission, I am a firm believer that walks are one of the most therapeutic things a person can do for themselves.
Most weekdays after we spring forward from daylight savings and the darkness of winter, I can be found with my dog Sadie and most of the time my hubby Casey walking in our neighborhood.
Our walks have become so regular that Sadie will stand in silent (or whiny) judgment until we utter the magic words, the words that turn her world upside down and bring her so much joy, “Do you want to go on a walk?”
I can’t say I blame her for getting so excited. I think it’s important to be able to spend some time each day with Mother Nature. It does a person good.
I’m not just throwing my opinion out there on this subject. There is factual evidence that says going on a walk is good for you!
Walking is said to add years onto your life, inspire creativity, help you solve problems, is an excellent source of activity, can be a great form of meditation, and even help form relationships—according to several studies and findings by scholars at places like Harvard, the Boston Globe and more.
I have found, that even when a Monday has been especially hard, something has thrown an unexpected kink into my day, or I’m just downright not in the mood for anything, a nice, long walk does the trick every time.
I don’t know if it’s the smell of springtime in the air—you know the smell, freshly cut grass, if you’re from Oklahoma, most likely a fire in the distance or just the sun on my skin—a walk is therapeutic.
I love to take in the sights and smells of my neighborhood. I know which fences house what kind of dogs, I know which houses are selling Girl Scout Cookies, I get to stop and talk to neighbors whom I otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to chat with. Call me old fashioned, but I love to build community this way.
If my husband accompanies me on my walk, I leave the phone at home. That means I’m unplugged and focused on him and Sadie alone. That is good for my soul. We catch up on each other’s days, talk through things at work that might have gone another way other than the way we planned and make plans for our future.
Quality time is one of my love languages, so you can imagine how a walk with the one I love lifts my spirits after a long day away from him.
Also, it feels good to get my blood pumping and get a little out of breath. Since I am over the halfway point in my pregnancy, running or jogging has become more than uncomfortable for me. Sometimes I have to catch myself walking slow, or Sadie will look back at me like “why are we going at a snail’s pace?” but when I kick up my feet and walk at a brisk pace, it makes me feel better about my desk job where I sit the better half of 9.5 hours a day.
Some of life’s greatest problems can be solved on a walk—or not! In my mind, that is what is so great about a walk. If it is just Sadie and me on a walk, a lot of my thoughts go toward God and what He’s doing in my own life and others’ lives.
I think it’s important that we take time to make time to engage in things like a simple walk at the end of a work day. It is in these kinds of places that we make ourselves most accessible to God.
As we approach Resurrection Sunday I can’t help but think of one agony-filled walk that the Lord went on in the Garden of Gethsemane before He walked the cross to Calvary’s hill on behalf of the world. It was His final act before being arrested, tried and crucified on the cross.
It was a painful walk, a walk where He knew what had to happen, but still pleaded with His Father to remove this burden. A burden that we, mankind, placed on His shoulders with our sin.
Yet He took our burdens and our sins and bore them on His shoulders in the form of slashes with whips. He wore them in the form of a crown of thorns; He wore them in the form of the tattered rags up on the cross. He wore them, so we wouldn’t have to, if only we believe in Him.
I am grateful that the result of that last walk meant someday, as a believer, I will walk alongside God the Father on streets of gold. That will be the ultimate in evening strolls.
Have you made the decision to follow Jesus and walk along the path towards righteousness? If you haven’t I pray you do and that I can walk alongside you as we look heavenward towards those streets of Gold.