By: David New
I work at the divisional headquarters for The Salvation Army in Texas. Every day we have a designated breaktime from 10:00AM to 10:20AM. My wife, who works in the same building, is someone who avidly takes care of herself. By that, I mean she exercises, eats healthily, and goes to bed at a good time—all things I don’t necessarily partake in. So, because of this, she often encourages me to take a walk with her during our 20-minute breaktime.
To be honest, it’s not something I usually look forward to. Especially if I’m extra tired (this excess of tiredness coming from my “inability” to go to sleep at a good time). But regardless, I can always count on her to come to my office at 9:59. She gives me the most guilt-tripping eyes. Today, I really wanted to say, “I’m sorry, Kelsie. Just not feeling it.” And I was very close to. But for some reason, I looked at her and couldn’t say no. Over something so silly. A walk. I looked at her, and I was suddenly so aware of how beautiful she looked this morning. I thought about all the sacrifices she makes for me on a daily basis. Then it dawned on me that just to see her smile in the mild excitement of a slob like me agreeing to accompany her on a walk is worth anything. And so, I said yes. And although my right leg is kind of hurting from attempting to keep up with her rapid pace, I’m so glad I did.
I haven’t lived enough life yet to really give drastic life-altering advice. But perhaps life is more than a collection of experiences. I’m sure 20 years from now, I won’t remember this walk I took or how tired I was beforehand. But does that matter? A daily walk with my wife is priceless. Each step molding me into a better person and husband. Each stride reminding me of the love we have for each other. Every stumble a reminder that she’ll be there to pick me up. The phrase “It’s about the journey” is not one I use frequently. Its trendy appearance is a bit…. well, annoyingly gross to me. But I can’t deny its truth.
At the risk of unprofessionally avoiding any well thought-out segue way, our life as believers should follow the same outline. Movies and television have trained us to think the important experiences in life should be a single climactic moment in which you, the main character, has a cathartic realization. This realization marks a change in your life, and nothing is ever the same. And maybe for some, this moment does occur. But for others, including myself, life is rarely so dramatic. The twists and turns of our daily routines don’t quite garner the same dramatic quality of your average sitcom. And so, we fabricate meaning and purpose. We convince ourselves to commit to almost anything other than our relationship with Christ.
A portion of Scripture that often brings me to tears is found in 1 Kings Chapter 19. At this particular point, we find a broken Elijah. A man so committed to God that his very life is in danger because of it. He is scared, alone, and is quite literally crying out to the Lord. To which, God reveals an array of beautiful yet terrifying examples of nature. There is a great wind, a massive earthquake, and a scorching fire. I can’t imagine what that moment was like for Elijah. The phrase “Do not be afraid” is used multiple times in Scripture and I suppose it’s for moments like these. However, the part that truly moves me every time is what happens next. God was not in any of those great and terrible things. Instead, He came to Elijah in the form of a whisper. He came to him in a way Elijah would feel heard and comforted and, in doing so, He restored Elijah’s faith and courage.
How often do we forget that the moments in life that shape us into the people we become are not moments of fire, wind, and earthquakes? Instead, it is moments of quiet. Moments when we feel comforted. Moments when we are reminded of how God speaks to us in ways we can understand.
Think about that for a moment. The God of the universe cares so much about you, that He communicates with you in a way perfectly suited for you. Our job and joy is to let Him. So stop waiting for God to reveal Himself in something animatedly comical. He is whispering to you now.
I’d love to take my wife around the world, visiting every interesting place we can imagine. And perhaps over time we can cross some of those locations off the list. But I must never forget that these daily walks with my wife are a blessing. They remind me of all the wonderful things about her, and 20 minutes is such a small sacrifice to pay for that.