“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.…They will walk and not be faint.” —Is. 40:31
“[God] will listen as you walk.” —George MacDonald
One evening as my beloved husband Michael and I strolled around the neighborhood, hand-in-hand, I lamented, “Where is everybody, Mike? People just don’t walk much anymore.”
For the past forty years, Michael and I have been both soul-mates and walking partners. We’ve found walking to be a wonderful way to stay fit and to forge our friendship, as we limber our limbs, relish changing seasons and scenery, and enjoy one another’s company in conversation or silence. I always feel uplifted when I return home.
Walking is good for your health—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It stretches both sinew and soul.
We began walking as newlyweds in a turn-of-the-century neighborhood and now amble along lanes lined with fifties’ retro-ranch-style houses and towering trees. We actually chose our current house over another we loved, because our subdivision boasts more walking paths.
We’ve walked in sunshine and rain, heat waves and cold spells, at daybreak and sunset, in good moods and foul spirits. It doesn’t depend upon temperatures or temperaments. Walking is always accessible, simple, and satisfying. One just needs comfy clothing, supportive shoes, and a willing spirit.
There was a time when I was not quite so willing. As a young woman in my twenties, and this is embarrassing to admit, I actually sped to work every morning in my VW Bug like a bat out of you know where—only *one* block away from where I lived! My life was driven by speed. I presumed the faster I went, the farther I’d get.
Mercifully, those days are gone, just a blurred memory in my rear-view mirror. How much wiser I would have been to slow down and savor the journey.
So now, as a seasoned sojourner, whether I walk in tandem with Michael or saunter solo, I take my time. Yes, I still do powerwalk to get my blood coursing, but walking for me is more than movement; walking is worship. I don’t want to rush that.
How fitting that our relationship with the Lord is often depicted as a “walk.” We move with Him every day of our life, one step at a time. While we do, we worship Him for His omniscience, realizing He knows the way. We worship Him for His omnipresence, knowing He walks with us.
I adulate as I ambulate, because God has given me legs that move and lungs that breathe. I praise Him for my body, fearfully and wonderfully made, even as it matures—maybe *especially* as it does.
I praise Him for the beauty of His creation—for the heavens that proclaim His glory, as He inscribes His invisible attributes in visual splendor, His signature across silken skies—for His parading seasons that welcome me like colorful greeting cards around every bend, with every footfall.
God listens as I walk, as I make my requests known or confess my sins. But more often than not, the Lord and I settle into comfortable conversation as rhythmic as the beat of my heart, the flow of my breath, the pace of my feet. Walking with God, my companion, is good for me because when I do, He never fails to increase my hope, renew my strength, and intensify our love.
Lynn D. Morrissey
Latest posts by Lynn D. Morrissey (see all)
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I wish we were neighbors Lynni. Walking with the Lord is indeed a spiritual workout not simple bodily exercise. And walking with you is all the more colorful. Beautiful reflection Lynni. ❤
Kelly, thank you so much for stopping by! Oh yes, I love what you said about a spiritual workout–what a great analogy. Indeed, walking with the Lord is, and He knows it’s good for us. Well, I’ve ridden with you, and that was an experience of joy and laughter and deep talks. Next time you, Kel, and I have a playdate at Innsbrook, we’ll head for those walking trails. I’d love to show you those God-present woods. You’ll love it. In the meantime, I am so blessed to walk with you in the Lord. I learn so much from you!
A breath of fresh air to this weary soul who has been running hard lately…a walk with The Lord would be welcome! A stroll in the gardens or just around the block …ahhh nice! This is just what I needed to hear that our ordinary healthy activities are worship! Thanks dear sweet lynni!
Kel, thank you so much for taking the time to read in what I know for you has become a very busy season! Whew! it’s hard to fit in life amongst the living of it. =] I am so glad this little blog brought refreshment to your soul, as yours have to mine. And you engage in another special act of worship: art. You’ve really taught me that the two are one. I am really looking forward to a stroll in the Garden with you and Kelly. The autumn leaves and crisper climes are about to beckon us, so keep those walking shoes by the front door! Love you so much,
Walking and talking with God has been an essential part of my routine for almost 30 years now. I also get most of my creative ideas while I walk.
Hi Elizabeth….thanks so much for walking on over here. I always love to chat with you. Oh yes! I could have mentioned creativity. Walking really is a writer’s meditation too. What is there about stretching the limbs that stretches our imaginations? I honestly can’t explain it, but I agree w/ you and know it to be true. Thank you so much for this invaluable insight!
Very nice article, Lynn it’s such a pleasure to read about a couple’s love and faith in God and each other.
Juanita, you were so sweet to drop by and to comment. You are such a wonderful author, so I really appreciate your encouragement. And I had to smile: Can you imagine Mike doing all this walking w/ me? Honestly, we have often been the only ones strolling along in both neighborhoods in which we have lived. And we did this from Day One of our marriage. And yes, I truly love him. Who else would put up w/ me?! Can’t wait till he retires, but I know he will miss you!!!
I love this, Lynn. I do my best praying while I am walking the dog!
Michelle, thank you so much for taking time for an away-from-Luther break and walking over for a visit! You know how much I love you and reading about your ambling in the Nebraska plains. I had to smile about your dog, b/c mine walks ME! Honestly! Believe me, it’s no longer a walk. I’m so grateful that you read this. Thank you!
Oh, Lynn, how perfectly beautiful! I enjoy a spin around the neighborhood, to! It loosens my limbs and sparks a little creativity from time to time. Not to mention enjoying wonderful prayer time!
Thank you so much for these lovely words and your encouragement, Ellen. Grateful! Ah yes . . . you *get* it. I’m so glad that you find your walking a package deal….God offers to much through it–time to pray and focus on Him, great exercise, and some innovation that may not have come another way. I’m with you, friend. Thank you again for your words here.
What a delight to connect with others who share the joy of “walking in the Spirit”!
The Lord has a wonderful way of meeting with those who seek Him, I am so grateful for the gift of walking! Thank you , Lynni for sharing this affirmation of this simple but profound discipline.
Cheryl, thank you so much for walking by and stopping a spell. What a deep truth–yes, walking *is* both simple and profound. Only the Lord could think of such a marvelous means of doing something in praise of Him that is good for body *and* soul! I will see you on the walking trail, my sweet friend.
Wonderful post, Lynn. Every step we take should be about Him and using the simple gift that we tend to take for granted as a time of worship. Thanks for the wise advice. It’s too easy to use this gift of exercise, like all His gifts, for granted and make it about us.
May our Father make the paths of our lives straight and level before us and may we honor Him with each step.
Floyd, you know I always love to hear your thoughts–always deep and such a treat. I love how you tied this back into Scripture as we pray for God to make straight our paths, level them, and keep our footing secure. I know your whole life is about following where He leads. I so appreciate your example, Floyd!
Beautiful post, Lynn! Thank you for writing it, sharing it and living it! Onward with love! Peace today, Patricia
Patricia, you are so dear to take the time to read (I KNOW how busy you are), and especially to lend your encouragement. Oh, yes! Onward! I can’t tell you how much your example and your daughter’s mean to me, and someday I will tell you.
As you wrote about the Lord meeting you as you walk, I felt as if I were sojourning with you. Thanks for slowing me down in the midst of my usual day of sprinting! Suzy
Suz, coming from a star sprinter, this means a lot. I can’t even *fathom* running, and God has gifted you like a graceful gazelle. But if my post encourages you just to slow down as you appreciate him, that is wonderful. You are dear to continually set such a godly example of grace for me. So grateful for you and your prayers!
Absolutely lovely writing, Lynn. And Sheridan’s gorgeous painting! It looks like a photo! I would love to see more of her work… I am so with you on walking, breathing in the seasons, God’s Spirit and manifest presence. People do walk around here… but mostly, it seems, I see them whenever the seasons are dramatically changing. It’s like people are out to get a last or first breath of newness. Thanks for sharing this post with me! I may link it up sometime on my blog this month! Love you and keeping you in my prayers!
Pam, so glad you could stroll on over. 🙂 I had a feeling you were a walker, because you are such an admirer of beauty, particularly God’s beauty in nature. Your posts just shimmer and glimmer with the glory of God’s creation. And that is interesting about people’s walking habits in your neck of the woods; but at least they are walking. We rarely see them around here, and it’s such a shame, b/c they are missing sooo much. Im looking forward to your October series of 31. Oh…and on Sheridan…no, that IS a photo, though I’m sure she’d love painting it. It looks a little fuzzy like a painting, b/c she explained you have to do that to get it to appear (otherwise the file with all the fine details is too large to post…or something like that! I’m untechnical, so I don’t get these things. But we did actually walk there. Kelham Hall and its surrounds are now owned by the Public Trust, and literally across the road from where our friend lives. Can you imagine that aS your backyard?!
Love you and praying for you,
Yes, I love to walk – especially in Fall! I answered you on my blog too… 🙂
Lynn, this was so encouraging. Don’t rush the walk of worship. Beautiful 🙂
Lyli….first, I LOVE your lovely name. Second, thank you so much for taking the time to read today and for your most generous comment. I love how you summed up my post–the walk of worship! There are so many double entendres there, that you or I could write yet another post! I’m glad we are all taking time from the rush of life to consider what worship is. I’ts a gorgeous day in St. Louis, so I think I’m headed for worship on some winding path. Bless you for stopping by. Meet you on the worship trail!
I enjoy walking my dogs first thing in the morning, down the road and up the hill. Sometimes a neighbor drives by. The light on the trees as the sun comes up, each day a different sky, are lovely to see. I got a fit bit so it has motivated me to add some steps. Lovely post.
Katie, thank you for stopping by and for sharing about your own walking adventures! I love your description of watching dawn when you are out for a stroll. Oh! Can you imagine? When we walk around the infinity of heaven, it will be eternally dawn–the Sonrise! I know we will be walking, don’t you? But this time with Jesus. Thank you so much for sharing!
Hi Lynn, Good to read your post. Good reminder that walking is worship and spending time with the Lord. I walk my dog and housemate’s dog nearly everyday. I miss the long walks in nature where the Lord spoke so clearly to me. I need to find a place for that. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my dog walks!
Hi Christine, so glad you walked on over here! 🙂 Lovely to see you, and I have enjoyed getting to know you. You mention your dog! Ah yes, dogs! I’m afraid that ours walks *me*, so Chevy is usually “walked” only when my husband comes along, but it is fun to take our animals outside for a changed of pace. Oh yes, I would surely encourage you to find a lovely place outdoors to walk with God in His creation…perhaps there is a local park where you can feel safe? Maybe we will meet up on the walking trail, but I appreciate so much sharing your walk with Jesus here!
What a lovely post you delivered here, Lynni; I felt inspired and encouraged. I love walking and hiking and have been a bit frustrated that my present place on a busy country road does not provide that. But, you have motivated me to find a way to get back to what I have loved and the fact that you do it in all kinds of weather gives me no excuses! Your dear Michael is a treasure and the reflection of your love has touched my heart~! Be blessed as you are a blessing! Fritzi
Fritzi, what a joy to see you here. I can’t tell you how blessed I am that the Lord has introduced us!! You are so precious to me in so many ways. I can just picture you and your beloved, hand in hand, enjoying a stroll together and with the Lord. Ah yes . . . weather. And you know that we experience it all in St. Louis, so if we allow that to hold us back, we will never venture out. Of course, if it is waaaay too hot, then I walk loops through our house. And one can really bundle up well for winter walking. Innsbrook is a great place for that…it’s so quiet and pristine when it snows. And Fritzi, another thing: It’s QUIET! (And you know what I mean! 🙂 ) Love you so much, and happy walking!