How We Walk

A friend tells this story: I spoke casually with a woman who served tables at a restaurant I frequented. We knew each other by first name only, but usually chatted for a few minutes each time I dined there.

One day, she asked me, “Do you have a son about eight years old?”

‘What has he done?’ I thought. I nodded yes.

She pressed on. “Does he play soccer?”

When I said that he did, she asked if he played in a game the previous week at a particular field. Again, I answered, “Yes.”

“I thought so,” she smiled. “I saw him and thought he must be your son.”

Since there were tens of thousands of young boys in the city, I was amazed and exclaimed, “I didn’t know he looked that much like me!”

“Oh, I didn’t see his face,” she said smiling as if she were keeping a secret.

“Then how did you know he was my son?” Now I was puzzled.

“I was just sitting in the car, and I saw a little boy in a baseball cap walking across the field to join his team. He walks like you.”

Walks like me? Now I was curious. How do I walk? Since I’m doing the walking, I don’t notice how I look to others. Maybe I could watch him amble around to get an idea.

His story made me question, how we walk down a street and how we walk through life are very different things. Perhaps I can’t help how I walk down a street, but I want to be intentional about how I walk through life.

Through life, I want to walk gently. I want to treat all of life – the earth and its people – with reverence. I want to remove my shoes in the presence of holy ground. As much as possible, I want to walk in peace.

I want to walk lightly, even joyfully, through whatever days I am given. I want to laugh easily. I want to step carefully in and out of people’s lives and relationships. I don’t want to tread any heavier than necessary.

And throughout life, I think I would like to walk with more humility and less anger, more love and less fear. I want to walk confidently, but without arrogance. I want to walk in deep appreciation. I want to be genuinely thankful for life’s extravagant, yet simple, gifts – a star-splattered night sky or a hot drink on an ice-cold day.

If life is a journey, then how I make that journey is important. How I walk through life.

But still I wonder how I look when I walk down a street.

And so, we pray: Father, Help me to walk in steps that would bring praise to you and grace to my brothers and sisters in this world. Help me to always walk in peace. Amen.

Grace and Peace
Steve

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