When we became empty-nesters, Chris and I began to walk almost every day. Our walks were usually forays into nature—to and from a local park, in a nearby forested area or even around the perimeter of our neighborhood. We spent about an hour each time, enjoying the prospect of healthy physical exercise and quiet conversation. Even since we’ve added regular exercise classes to our daily routines, our walks are still a cherished feature of our well-being. They still hold the promise of spiritual refreshment. Before heading out on a walk today, let me encourage your own walking discipline with these familiar thoughts.
Some basics: Walking is a preferred method of exercise for people over the age of 65. Walking offers a range of physical benefits without some of the adverse effects of more strenuous workout regimes. It’s relatively inexpensive—a pair of good shoes—and can happen in almost any context. (When snow covers our path, we strap on snowshoes!)
When Chris and I walk, there are times and locations where the beauty and wonder of the natural world requires silence. We ratchet up our senses—especially sight and hearing—so that we notice both the large vistas and the small details of God’s creation. Traversing the same routes, we marvel at the cycle of seasonal changes. We stretch our limbs and our imaginations. We pray silent prayers of gratitude for Creation, for our physical capabilities and for this precious time that we’re spending together. Our spirits soar—back into treasured memories and outward into the expanse of our present situations. Our challenges and opportunities are set into the context of God’s grace over all these years. We think of all the beloved people who share our life now.
Okay, got to go now… It’s time for today’s walk!
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