Monday, November 9, 2009

Walking and Talking To God

"When you go to Iraq, the most valuable piece of equipment you are issued is a good pair of boots. Boots are worn in sand, heat, rain, and mud. They have to be comfortable because you wear them everywhere. Some are used to get out of danger, some are worn until the soles come apart, some will knock the stink off a camel - and all are full of sand and covered with dust or mud. Boots are worn anywhere from twelve to twenty-four hours a day- and sometimes even longer.

All of this walking is a good thing - for the spiritual exercise. It seems appropriate that we can walk around and kick up sand and dust in a place where many Old Testament events took place. On the Al Asad air base is a place called Abraham's Oasis, believed to be the stopping point on Abraham's journey mentioned in Genesis 11. The prophet Jonah had to cross modern-day Iraq to reach Ninevah. Plenty of biblical characters spent time walking and talking to God in the desert. Prayer and walking have seemed to go together throughout time. Some of our deepest conversations with God happen as we walk, whether we are traversing the desert, pacing the halls of a hospital, strolling the sidewalks of our neighborhood, the sandy shoreline, the forest trails. So get a sturdy, comfortable pair of boots, walk and talk, kick up some sand...God is always waiting and listening."

Chaplain Patrick McLaughlin,CDR, USN from the book "No Atheists In Foxholes"

I, too, have spent much time in walking and praying. Before I was married, our neighborhood street was scheduled to be split by a highway and many houses were torn down, leaving an open space in the middle of our little drive. I used to walk the street at night and our former country home in Ringwood we had a long driveway that I loved to walk up and down while praying. Many times I would go out and cry and walk and pray, trusting that no one was eavesdropping! Here in the City I go to a walking trail to exercise, and I do pray while I'm walking, but I can't do it aloud- too many other people are using the trail. One morning I met another woman- I knew she was praying because while she was still a ways off she was speaking- I overheard some of it. When we got closer together, she stopped talking aloud, but then as I moved away from her she started up again. It made me feel like she was a kindred spirit, although we don't want a total stranger to hear us in our private talks with God. Sometimes you don't want to just stay quietly on your knees in prayer- you feel like moving about! Sometimes when I'm alone driving I pray aloud...some-times I have to cry, and I hope other drivers don't wonder too much if they happen to see me bawling.

A Morning Prayer
Grant, almighty God,
that as You shine on us by Your word,
we may not be blind at midday
nor willfully see darkness,
and thus lull our minds asleep:
But, may we be roused daily by Your words,
and may we stir up ourselves more and more to fear Your name
and thus present ourselves and all our pursuits
as a sacrifice to You,
that You may peaceably rule and perpetually dwell in us
until You gather us to Your celestial habitation,
where there is reserved for us eternal rest and glory,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John Calvin

1 comment:

  1. Just had a question. Where did you get the picture of the praying soldier? I have been trying to find who took this picture so I can ask permission to make a copy painting of it for a special project. Thanks!