One of the nicest things about living in a small town is the reality that everything is so close. We live on one end of town, near the highway. Our church is close to the middle of town, and the post office is closer to the other end of town. But, when you have a town of around 300 – and when people living out on their farms make up a portion of that head count – the other end of town is just not that far away!
As long as the weather is nice, everything is so close that it’s almost not worth it to run a vehicle to go to church, the post office, or a friend’s house. So, more often than not we walk.
Walking everywhere puts a completely new perspective on one’s environment. It makes us stop and notice things – things that we often don’t notice when we’re flying by in our vehicles, even when “flying” is going 30 mph down small town streets.
Walking takes more time and effort than driving. It takes more intentionality. It might even take a little discomfort. After all, Sunday shoes aren’t the easiest thing to walk in, even for just three blocks! But, when walking is chosen over driving, the rewards are worth the extra effort.
There is a reason our spiritual journey is called a “walk,” not a “drive.” This struggle you are moving through is not about getting from where you are to the other end of the challenge. It’s about what you learn, notice, and accomplish along the way. God’s work in us is intentionally slow for this very reason. Think how much we would miss if we were to race through life just as we speed through the streets of our communities.
Next time you seem to feel that God is moving you too slowly through life’s circumstances, go take a walk. Walk down a street you have never paid much attention to each time you’ve driven down it. Take time to really look at your surroundings. Take time to notice. To ponder. To pray. Then let your walk remind you why it is that God is not letting you “drive” through your struggle. And as that perspective washes over you, ask God to open your eyes on your walk. Be prepared, though; what you see just might make you thankful for the effort of the struggle!