I go for a walk first thing in the morning. My doctor said I need to exercise every day to help with my depression and anxiety. And I started walking as a way to exercise – I was very unfit and unhealthy which did not help the bad image I have of myself. Yet now I walk not to get somewhere or to do something but simply to walk. The walking is an end in itself – a purpose. The walk is something I do, not to get fit or to get to a destination, but some time alone while my feet are moving. This time has become a place to think and to pray. Our modern world is so concerned about outcomes and value that we can sometimes miss the simple pleasure of just doing something.
Faith is about living with possibility. It is about a choice to abide in Jesus, to stay close to Him, a resolution to keep Him in my heart. It is not about an end – forgiveness or heaven – but about the here and now with Jesus. Sometimes the Christianity I have heard preached is all about the end and how to get there: how often I should read my Bible, go to Communion, or go to Confession. When I do that I forget to smell the flowers along the way – I forget to see Jesus next to me on the path. Eternal life with God is a present reality in Jesus who has won the victory over death. Eternal life is walking in love now with the sure knowledge that with God all things are possible.
I have noticed that I walk faster when I listen to faster music – I walk to the beat. So when I want to walk really fast I listen to Britney Spears. Today I listened to the first album (on cassette) I remember buying – Pink Floyd’s “Wish you were Here”. It really is one of my favourite albums. Not only is it full of memories of growing up but it has some lines that often make me smile: “oh, by the way, which one is Pink”.
The music I listen to makes my walk faster or slower. So also with the voices I listen to in my life. I struggle with a negative internal dialogue that makes me out to be a monster. When I listen to that voice my life goes downhill fast. But when I listen to other affirming voices I am filled with possibility and hope. The more I listen to the affirming voices, the less I listen to the inner negative voice. And the inner negative voice loses its power and strength over me.
My life with Jesus is about walking with Him and listening to Him. Sometimes He speaks in the most unexpected places and people. My job is to be open to Him and to listen for Him. And like Elijah I need to be prepared to hear God in the “gentle quiet whisper”.