Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thinking about walking before a run (Is 30: 18-21)

So, since we got our new dog, China, from the SPCA, I've taken her on six walks.  We are going to try to make sure that she gets walks of varying lengths at least three times per day.  The walks are fun and brisk and remind me of the joy of walking and the joy, particularly, of walking with a strong and relatively young dog.  Before I go for my run this morning (jogging a 5K race with my 12 year old and running a 10K at my own pace on a steamy Sunday morning), I've been thinking about walking.  Why?  Well, I do a lot of running.  I use my running to get me thinking about the Bible and about my beliefs and actions (today I have two bib numbers as I am running two races!).  But, at the end of the day, there are very few Bible stories that I can think of with any focus on running--with the possible exception of Peter running to Jesus's empty tomb on Easter morning.  However, there are plenty of references to walking in the way of the Lord.  A quick search led me to one: Isaiah 30:18-21 (as usual from the New American Bible Revised Edition):

Truly, the LORD is waiting to be gracious to you,
truly, he shall rise to show you mercy;
For the LORD is a God of justice:
happy are all who wait for him!

Yes, people of Zion, dwelling in Jerusalem,
you shall no longer weep;
He will be most gracious to you when you cry out;
as soon as he hears he will answer you.

The Lord will give you bread in adversity
and water in affliction.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,

And your ears shall hear a word behind you:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or the left.

Of course, this was about the future of Zion.  Verse 18 reflects patience.  We haven't had to have too much patience with our new dog (since we figured out what she likes to eat).  But all new family members require some patience.  And all relationships (with dogs or people) require patience.

We wept when our old dog passed.  I won't necessarily go so far as to say that God led us to this dog, but we were surprised that no one else had taken her.  A young couple even looked at her while we were there and chose not to take her home.  We feel that God has certainly answered our call for knowing when the time was right and then the animal was right.  

God always provides for my family.  

And, while we are usually the one directing the dog when we are walking rather than the dog directing us, there is definitely a sense of rightness about the whole thing.  A sense that this is where the Lord wants us to be.  A sense that this is part of our family's mission. And a sense of waiting to see what this new relationship with a dog brings to us.  

And regardless, the mere act of walking and thinking about my relationship with God along the way, is a reminder that I should always seek to walk in the way of the Lord.  I hope to be able to say, "This is the way" and I am walking in it every day.  I don't always succeed but walking a lot more over the past three days has reminded me of how important it is to try.  Parenthetically, maybe I am a bit more of a kinetic learner than I ever thought.  

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