This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Grace #24 Walking as Meditation

As part of my ongoing effort to take 10,000 steps/day I have begun taking a morning walk. Again. I used to walk all the time, then winter came, then I joined a gym, then I hurt my foot, then I moved, then I started wearing a pedometer and so here we are again, back to the morning walk. I suppose one can walk at anytime of day, but I seem to prefer the morning because I a) actually get in the walk and b) it seems to set the right tone for the rest of the day.

The truth is that I actually enjoy my morning walks and get far more than exercise out of them. I am nosy: I love walking the neighborhood and checking out my neighbors' landscaping, exterior paint jobs, and porch furniture. If someone actually has a lit interior such that I can see inside their home I unabashedly look right in and assess the decorating. Like I said, I'm nosy. Also I sometimes bring my iPod along and it's always nice to just listen to your favorite songs and let your mind wander. The most important thing I get from the walk is the rhythmic pounding of my feet on pavement that ultimately leads to a meditative state.

This morning as I was walking I noticed that the sun, which has been noticeably absent this summer, was shining on a glorious morning. Now my brain always knew that the sun was present and merely obscured by cloud cover, but my soul had begun to doubt. I started thinking about God: I know God is always present but sometimes I want to see Him. Our sun is a constant source of energy from which all manner of good things come. It's easy to take the sun for granted. Too much sun isn't good for you, it can give you headache or burn your skin. Too little sun is depressing and can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. We can't always see the sun. We're not supposed to always see the sun. We have faith that even when we can't see it - it's there and continues to provide its life sustaining warmth and energy and even if that energy is currently being directed at another side of the Earth we are still benefiting and will get our share.

God is a constant source of energy from Whom all good things come. It's easy to take God for granted. Can you get too much God? I believe you can. I believe that it's not really God if it's too much, it's probably human-made bureaucratic details or discussion points that are bogging you down. I run as fast as I can from people who want to share with me their relationship with Jesus and quote the Bible. Anyone looking particularly fevered or angry when they speak of God makes me nervous. I would far prefer to hear about some one's spiritual moment had while hiking than a sermon. Of course if you can have too much of something you can also have too little. We've all known people with too little God in their lives: they are people without self esteem or reverence for life, people without a compass who seem to just bounce from disaster to catastrophe again and again. They are the people who will throw a cigarette butt into the Grand Canyon, toss a rock at an animal, or slowly destroy their bodies with drugs and alcohol. They may not need more religion, but they certainly need more God.

Time after time I have seen proof and more proof of God's existence and yet...and yet...still the doubts come. I don't actively question "Is there a God?" but I will find myself worrying about things, wondering if everything will be okay, afraid of the future, or not trusting my own gut feelings. I may not say I don't believe in God but sometimes I act that way. Sometimes when things seem to not be going very well for me but seem to just be flowing right along for everyone else I wonder am I getting my share?

And then, just when I am getting caught up in all sorts of unimportant minutiae I am inspired to begin walking again. Through the pounding of my Asics on pavement and the pounding of my heart as I gasp my way up the hills I am soothed. I am quieted. In that quiet I hear the truth that my worrying voice was drowning out: it's okay. You're safe. God is in you. You were the cloud obscuring the sun but you can move anytime you want and let that sun shine through. All is well.

Take a walk. Take a moment. Trust in yourself. And may God be with you.

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