The streets are not so empty anymore, and even though you cannot see the smiles, the eyes tell it all. There is something about taking a long walk that calms the mind. There is a peace that wraps around you as you stroll down the sidewalk of a not so busy Brooklyn neighborhood, or along the shores of the Grand Anse bay beach in Grenada, or even around a lake in central Florida. It is in those moments; I am able to do some breathing exercises and clear my head (or organize my thoughts). I really do enjoy seeing others go about their day, some are happy, some are confused, frustrated, angry and some aimlessly stroll maybe to clear their heads too.
When the walk becomes a hike
The Christian journey is a lot like a long walk with Jesus. It can take us on different terrains, gives us clarity and also allows us to interact with different people along the way. But also, like long walks, the Christian walk is not always pleasant. Last summer, I had the pleasure of exploring Grenada during my summer break and one of the walks I went on was calming but challenging. It was more of a hike than a walk, but I was not made aware of this ahead of time. A few of us as friends explored the lush vegetation and enjoyed the cool breeze as we walked and talked. Then we came to the end of the journey, or so I thought. There was a waterfall on our left and a huge rock on the right. We had to make the decision to either just stay at this small waterfall or climb the rock to experience what was on the other side. We had our tour guide go ahead of us, and then we placed our feet where his feet went and before we knew it, we were over the rock and what a sight we saw. There were three pools of formed at different levels from another waterfall upstream. They were different depths, different sizes and twice as beautiful as the one we saw earlier.
Walking with God
Our Christian journey has its ups and downs, but what we do know is that we are walking with God. In 1 John chapter 2 verse 6 it says, “The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked”. And not only are we walking with Jesus, but we are also walking with other Christians. That is also what Jesus did, he always consulted his Father God, but he was also with his friends (the disciples) on earth, as he when about his journey. As I look back on that experience, I have also seen paths in my Christian walk where I have gotten to the little waterfall and need to climb the rock in order to advance to the next level of this Christian walk. And the decision has to be made, either to settle at this level or take the hike to the next level, even though I cannot see over the rock. I need to trust my guide (Jesus) to take me to the next step and walk in his footsteps. “We walk by faith, not by sight” (1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 7). At times on this walk we might need to separate from the crowd, consult with those who understand that our Christian walk is one of faith and not only sight. Time and again we saw Jesus doing this with Peter, James and John: On the Mount of Transfiguration, In the Garden of Gethsemane and in the room with Jarius’ daughter. Looking at Jesus’ choices here, we realize that we do not always have to have a crowd with us on this journey, sometimes it is only the 3 people in your inner circle. These are the people you can allow yourself to be vulnerable with and these are the people that will help you to pray and continue on when life gets difficult.
We can rest assured that if we walk with Jesus that he will take care of us. His word says in Philippians chapter 1 verse 6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. Our journeys will not always be a walk in the park. The stroll on the beach can quickly turn when the waves unexpectedly come a little too far up on the shore and cause you to stumble and fall. Even though you might get wet and some of your belongings may have drifted away, you can still get back up and continue on the journey. That walk in the not so busy Brooklyn neighborhood, can turn into a frantic search to find your way back home. While the walk around the lake can be just that, a nice walk, and you find your way home with out hindrance. Each walk is unique, and even though we might take the same path, we may not experience the same obstacles. The one common factor is that we are walking with God and if he is walking with us, we are sure that we will make it to our destination. Whatever your journey, let us walk in faith trusting in God, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.
Ashea West is a third-year medical student from Manchester, Jamaica studying in the USA. I am passionate about sharing the gospel, using whatever opportunities I am given. I do believe in blooming wherever I am transplanted.