Tag Archives: walking

A Walk For Faith

Carl and I are very different when it comes to walks. Our little dog absolutely loves to go out into the world and stroll down any path or road near our house. It doesn’t matter how long he and my husband go or even what the temperature is.  Just call Carl’s name and follow it with the word, “walk” and we have a happy dog.

Now for me, I will join Carl and my husband on a regular basis but it isn’t something I really enjoy. I find walking a little on the boring side and choose other kinds of exercise to accomplish my fitness goals. I particularly don’t like going when I am not sure of the final destination.

This is why when I think about the amount of walking the disciples of Jesus did, I become amazed. There is one particular walk that blows my mind when I consider how far they went without having a clue of the purpose of their journey.

It is a story that is easily overlooked and most people don’t even consider the circumstances surrounding the walk. It begins with Jesus being bombarded by a bunch of religious leaders trying their best to prove that He is a farce.  His disciples are beginning to wonder about who Jesus is and so instead of trying to convince them with words, Jesus plans a field trip.

So they start walking. I am sure the disciples were like most children we know and asked Jesus countless times if they were close to their destination. Given how I felt yesterday when walking four miles, I can’t imagine how they were feeling after two days of trodding down a sandy path in the middle of nowhere.

After four days, they finally come to a small town near Sidon which is between fifty and sixty miles from where they began. The disciples must have been a little cranky as they waited for some incredible miracle to happen. But all they saw were Gentiles that looked at them like they were scum off the bottom of their shoes.

Not seeing anything worth coming this long way was probably causing these men to become frustrated. To top it off, a woman’s persistent scream for Jesus could be heard over the crowd without any signs of stopping. As the woman drew closer, the disciples began to become extremely annoyed.

The disciples were probably getting a little aggravated with Jesus. The woman wouldn’t be quiet and Jesus acted like He didn’t hear her. Even after several disciples tried to get her to be quiet, she continued. They then turned to Jesus, but He didn’t seem in the least bit interested in addressing the woman.

Finally, the woman makes her way to Jesus and kneels down in front of Him and calls out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon possessed and is suffering terribly.”

Then Jesus makes a statement that most people would have thought would be insulting. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s food and toss it to the dogs.”

The woman responded, “Yes it is Lord. Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table.”

Then Jesus looked down with incredible compassion and stated, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” (Matthew 25:25-28)

So why did Jesus and his disciples walk so far into Gentile territory?  There is no other miracles recorded here. There is no interaction with important people or famous landmarks.  Why would Jesus take at least ten days out of his busy schedule to travel so far?

There is only one answer. To celebrate the faith of this one Gentile woman. This woman’s declaration of who Jesus was demonstrated a stronger faith than any of his disciples had shown since Jesus started his ministry. And Jesus wanted his disciples to witness it first-hand.

In the future while I take my walks, I will spend some time contemplating the distance these men covered. But what I will remember the most is how Jesus was willing to take the time out of his busy schedule to seek out this woman of faith and the miracle she received.

I don’t think Carl thinks a lot when he is going on his walks. But even so, I can learn from his walking attitude and try and seek out the miracles that maybe right in front of me.

With the Help of a Walking Stick

It just wasn’t what I thought it would be. From the brochure and name of the cabin, I was certain we would have a creek running through the property where we could walk down with fishing poles and hopes of a big catch. But as we turned off the road where the river winded beside us, I knew that there would be no creek and no fishing. Instead of a brook of any kind, woods and tall grass that needed to be cut welcomed us to our little get away.

My attitude needed to change and I was struggling not to show my agitation like a little child not getting her way. It was then that I noticed the front porch with the swing that hung from the ceiling. Making my way over to it, I hopped on, and began to push back and forth. I began to feel the cool breeze that swept past me and started to look around my surroundings. Yes, there was no creek but there was a nice view of a dense forest that lay across the gravel road. I then began to take in the fact that no cars passed by and no traffic could be heard. Only birds, wild turkeys, and the sounds of crickets filled the silence.

After spending time with my husband, the weight of a negative attitude began to shake off and was replaced by pleasant thoughts and a sense of gratitude. Philippians 4:8 reminds me that I need to think of what is true, noble, lovely, praiseworthy and excellent. So this is what I focused on as I looked around my new surroundings. I just needed to remember that God created this spot on earth in the same manner that he created the beautiful mountain views that were just around the corner.

So with an adjusted attitude and walking stick, we got in the car and made the short trip to Grandfather Mountain, one of North Carolina’s most spectacular tourist destinations. Once passing through the gate, we began to see some great views of the valleys that lay thousands of feet below. But as we continued to ascend up the mountain, the views only became more breathtaking. On the level right below the top, we parked our car and began to hike up the steep path to the where the notorious swinging bridge expanded over a luminous gap in the mountain. Climbing some steps, we made our way unto the bridge. The air was cool and the sky was clear as we walked across the mile high bridge, feeling the slight movement under our feet. Once getting to the other side, there were huge stones that had to be maneuvered to find the best view of the beautiful valley below.

Being in my late 50’s, I have lost some of the agility that I once took for granted. This made maneuvering through the stones and large rocks difficult. The knowledge of knowing that one wrong move could send me sailing off the side of the mountain was also ever present in my thoughts. Finally, I made my way to the large rock that was suspended over the edge of the mountain. It was then, with the help of my walking stick, that I secured my footing and was able to take in the view. My thoughts turned to God and began to inwardly praise him for his incredible creation. The silhouettes of hundreds of mountains stood in the distance with a valley full of lush green trees. Blue skies with fluffy white clouds made for a picture that only our Heavenly Father could create.

Standing there, suspended in time, I couldn’t help but think how I may have missed all of this if I had stayed focused on the things that I didn’t have. Did God want me to leave the cabin and take the extra effort to find the beauty of this breath taking view? Did he need me to step away from my dismal disposition to find the gift just around the bend? Lastly, I believe God wanted me to learn that the treasures of this life can only be found with a grateful attitude and in this case the help of a walking stick.

My Frenchie Companions

Recently after I retired from teaching, I purchased a French bull dog. My husband and I had wanted a Frenchie over a decade ago, but I had made a mistake and bought an English bull dog. Now if you know anything about these types of dogs, you will realize that the English looks nothing like the Frenchie except in their face. Sally was a short and stout bully that stole our hearts. She loved me and would follow me around the house and lay down beside me when I got on the computer. On the negative side, she hated going on walks and could be aggressive if you messed with her toys or food. When she was a young dog, she was diagnosed with stones in her stomach which had to be closely monitored. When she turned nine, she became very sick and we had to put her down. We were heartbroken and mourned for several months before getting Bee, our first French bull dog.

I mention all of this because Bee has been a wonderful companion during the times that I am left alone in the house. She has a great disposition and has only provided my husband and I unconditional love. During my walk in the desert, Bee has been there for me. We take long walks together and she loves to snuggle in my lap. She has a bed that she lays in when we start the fireplace and is very content to sleep away the hours when no one is home.

Just last week, we purchased our second Frenchie. We named him Carl after the character in Sling Blade played by Billy Bob Thornton. If you get a chance to watch this movie, you will have get a peek at my husband’s humor. Anyway, it has been cold and rainy here in North Carolina and I have been unable to teach Carl how to go out the doggy door to do his business. If nothing else, wiping pee and picking up poo has given me a purpose. Now as I go through this transition in life, I have two sweet pooches to keep me company.