Almost two weeks ago, I went on a walk. This is not just any walk, it was a Christian walk called "The Walk to Emmaus". This walk was a 3 day event that allows you to get away from all distractions and focus on your spiritual being. It was incredible for me. There are a number of special surprises that will humble you and connect you to some pretty intense feelings that we all have, plus you get to meet a few nice people who are also going through the same process, and support one another in prayer and discussion. I highly recommend it.
After my walk, I have spent a good deal of time reflecting. Reflecting on my worship, my service, my professional life, family life, etc. It gave me a great new perspective on these things, and I am working hard to listen. I did not leave there with a bunch of resoutions or revolutionary ideas on changing my life, I left with a desire to closely examine where I am in my walk. It has been great reflection time, and I have spent time with Jay (my pastor) struggling with some things that are good struggles. My wife went the week after I did, and it has resulted in some really good conversations there as well.
The walk helped me to appreciate the people in my life. I appreciate knowing that people actually take the time to invest in me as a person. I want to do more of that investing in others. I want to stop moving by people so fast as I go to the next task, and leave a mark of caring on them. Some people accept that kind of attention better than others, but I will pray for those who struggle with that. I have a couple of people in my life that I strive to be friends with that do not seem to need or want that friendship, and I want to know why. I offer it freely with no strings. We all need another friend, but need encouragement as well. Are you one of those people? Do you move past people so quickly that you don't ever see who they are? Are people reaching out to you, but you don't answer? Is your thought as you meet new people only for what good you can get out of it? I have certainly done that. I had a situation right after my walk where I walked past someone like that, then realized I had done it. I then immediately went back purposely to that person to refocus, and ended up in a conversation that was not only interesting, but rewarding as well for us both. That was awesome. I have a new friend. Wonder where the next one is?
"Lord, help me to walk more slowly, to hear more clearly, and to reach out to each person I meet just as you would have done. Open my eyes to my struggles with certain individuals so that I may overcome those struggles and relate to each person I meet in a way that would please you. Never let me give up on being a caring friend to each one I meet."
I am better after my walk. If only in that I am thinking more on things of God and renewing my struggles that for so long I had just given in to and accepted. I have and will fail, but God encourages me to stay in the game and keep trying.
I'm back in the game.
Put me in coach!