Going for Walks: A Spiritual Opportunity
Social distancing and “Stay Home, Stay Safe” restrictions have led to an incredible amount of walking. Running out of things to do inside, people turn outside to pass the time and stay active. I’ve now met numerous neighbors who are in a daily habit of walking the neighborhood. Prior to COVID-19, I didn’t know most of them. Granted, I am relatively new to the neighborhood, but there is no question that, for many people, walking outside is providing stability and hope in the midst of an upside-down world.
One of my neighbors walks his route every day. Unlike most neighbors, he walks with a rosary in hand and prayers on his lips. The beads and the cross are testimony that he is on the walk of faith as he walks in prayer. Each time I see him, I am reminded that there is more to this world than what I see.
Spiritual routines, like going to worship each week, have been disrupted, but maybe it is time to integrate your spiritual life into your more mundane routines. The Fuller Center for Spiritual and Missional Formation in Pasadena, California, put together a wonderful resource on prayer walking. They say: “Prayer walking doesn’t initiate God’s work. Rather, it cultivates in us an awareness of God’s loving presence and Kingdom purposes in our neighborhood.” They recommend that, as you walk, talk to God about what you see around you. Pay attention. Notice the little things. Find the profundity in the ordinary.
Prayer walks are also an opportunity for you to allow your worries to become prayers. Voice your concerns. Pray for the loved ones you cannot see right now. Remember that, though you may not be able to be physically present, there is One who is always present. Let each step remind you that there is still more to come.
For more on the practice of Prayer Walking, check out Fuller’s resource here.
Peace be upon you,
Chaplain Travis Jamieson