In June my husband KR and I were excited to join my son Ryan and his family in Paris, France, for several days. Eager to visit tourist sites like the Eiffel Tower, we often walked single file along narrow, crowded streets following Ryan, who knew the way to our desired destinations. Because I was often second in line, I repeatedly noticed Ryan’s very distinctive “gait” or “way of walking.” Because I was unfamiliar with the streets of Paris, I trusted his knowledge of the city map and eagerly followed him.
Back in Sheridan as I engaged in morning devotions, this simple experience of walking with my family in Paris prompted me to reflect on a more important journey – my “spiritual walk.” I wondered how distinctively my “walk” (the “way I live”) either reflects or fails to reflect my following the Lord Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 4: 26 encourages us to “Give careful thought to the paths of our feet” favoring those that are firm and level. Proverbs 16: 9 acknowledges that although we may make our plans, it is the Lord who “guides our steps.”
One of the first connections I made between my walk in Paris and my journey of faith is that like the narrow Paris streets, Jesus’ path is the narrow way (Matt. 7:14). However, unlike the many routes we might take to reach tourist sites in Paris, Jesus’ way is the only path to our eternal destination with God, the Father (John 14:6).
As Christians who seek to apply biblical truth to our lives, we may find it useful to reflect upon other questions about our distinctive “walk” with Jesus. Questions that I’ve asked myself, which the reader may want to think about include:
• Motivation/Passion: Do I eagerly seek to follow Jesus? Do I trust Him with my life?
• Direction: Do I follow Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) or do I go my own way now and then?
• Light to the path: Do I walk in the light (John 8: 12) or do I stumble in the darkness? Psalm 119: 105 tells me that God’s word is “a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Do I read the Bible daily to gain this clarity?
• My “gait”: What does my walk look like to others? Do I walk in the way of love (Ephes. 5: 2) or do I disengage, ignore, or even dismiss those around me?
• Integrity: Do I walk in obedience to the One who loves me and has given me the gift of His Son Jesus? (Deut. 10:12, Matt. 28: 20)
My reflections validated the blessings we have in the Word of God, which illuminates the truth, provides direction for our journeys, and assures us that we never walk alone. How grateful we become to experience God Himself in our daily walks of faith!
Dr. Anita Schamber is a Constituent Minister for Volunteers of America