This is my devotion for the Custer County Chief for its August 27, 2020 issue. Thanks to the Chief for printing devotions from the pastors of the Custer County Ministerial Association.
I took a walk with a friend recently. I don’t particularly like walking, but he does.
On our walk, we experienced a miracle. I’m not one to throw that word around, but I know not what else to call it. Before our walk, he was perturbed, anxious. But on our walk, he found peace in his spirit. We talked about the change that he experienced. He couldn’t explain it, except that he felt God’s presence as he walked. And in walking with him, I felt God’s peace too.
Really, it shouldn’t surprise me that God would work through a walk with a friend to bring peace. After all, Jesus referred to himself as “The Way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), and the early Christian communities referred to themselves as people who belonged to “the Way” (Acts 9:2, 19:23, 22:4). Additionally, the gospels are replete with scenes of Jesus teaching while walking. To be a follower of Jesus is to be a people on the move, to be people of the way of Jesus.
My friend and I had no agenda (or at least I didn’t). There were no formal prayers, though we could have done that. There were only the prayers of our feet, connecting to the pavement trod by our neighbors. And the prayers of our eyes, as we gazed upon the beauty of the sky, clouds, and creatures. And the prayers of our ears, as we shared in conversation about the holy and mundane of our lives, and heard the mixture of birdsong and passersby. And the prayers of our hearts, as we let go of the rest of our lives to be present with each other, with creation, and with God who is our Way.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s go for a walk and experience the blessings of Jesus the Way.
“Traditional Navaho Prayer”
Before us it is blessed, behind us it is blessed,
Below us it is blessed, above us it is blessed,
Around us it is blessed as we set out with Christ.
Our speech is blessed as we set out for God.
With beauty before us, with beauty behind us,
With beauty below us, with beauty above us,
With beauty around us, we set out for a holy place indeed.United Methodist Book of Worship, (Nashville, Tenn.: United Methodist Publishing House, 1989), p 562.