Years ago, I was driving from Kentucky to Tennessee for a week-long ministry class. When I was about an hour away, my car started acting up. I had to make an unexpected stop in Morristown, Tennessee, and a minister helped me get my car to a shop — and drove me the hour to where my class was to meet. I would pick up my car on the way home at the end of that week, but it meant that while I was in Tennessee, I would be car-less.
Have you ever had no way to get around except for your two legs? For many people in our world, this is an everyday reality. For people in Jesus’ day, it was just how you got around. But for me, for five days, it was a new situation forced on me by circumstances.
Thankfully, I had friends in that class who gave me a lift whenever we had a class activity or outing. But in the evenings and the early morning, I was on my own. The school where I was in class was across the street from a college, so I walked over there for a meal or two and for their library. There was a gas station down the street that had some essentials to sustain me through the week (pop tarts, any one?).
In short, I learned I could make my way by walking. There is something about slowing down and taking life one step at a time. I couldn’t fly by it in my Mazda; I had to walk through it slowly, patiently — especially when we got hit by a late winter Tennessee snowstorm.
Even so, I was glad to get my car back at the end of that week. And I can’t imagine trying to do life without the modern miracle of the combustion engine.
But times like that week in Tennessee can teach me something, if I will slow down and pay attention. Life is not about speed, but faithfulness. Faith is a journey, not a sprint. And there are things I miss by whipping through life, instead of walking it one step at a time.
In fact, I believe that faith is more like walking than driving; it is more like taking deliberate and intentional steps, than it is hurrying those steps so I can just get to the next place I’ve got to be.
Life is a faith journey, that we take one step at a time. And when we do, the promise we have is that we don’t walk alone. He walks with us — and He provides friends for the journey.
I’ll still be driving just about everywhere I go. But when I get there, I hope to take the time to embrace each step — and keep walking in the ways of Jesus.