One of the most valuable things I’ve learned to do is simply walk. I don’t walk nearly enough, but walking really is the cure for all that ails you. Some people like to run, but walking is something that many of us can do at any time. Walk away. Walk it off. Walk with the Lord. It is the cure for many emotional, spiritual, and physical issues and our language tells us so.
In healthcare the goal for nearly every ailment is to get people walking. It is a bit cruel, but often only a few hours after surgery the first thing we try to do is get people up and walking. Not careening off to a marathon, but carefully up and moving around. When we replace hips or knees, the first thing we do is start physical therapy, working those new parts to promote healing, to get people to a place of walking.
Some people cannot walk, in which case the goal is still to get them up and moving around, either with assistance or a wheelchair or what ever it takes to get them upright and moving and as close to a walking condition as possible.
When women are having babies, in the absence of any major issues, we get them to walk. Walking tends to work with gravity, bring on contractions, speed the process, alleviate some pain.
Walking can lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, cure some minor aches and pains, improve circulation, aid digestion, help you to sleep, and promote healing. It’s somewhat counter intuitive, when we aren’t feeling good we tend to want to go to bed. To lay there and die, die I tell you. That’s why we call it “lay down and die.” Of course there is a time when our body needs to do just that, to rest.
Walking can really aid with depression, too. Often walking out doors in the sunlight can give you a double mood booster. Walking is good for thinking, for problem solving, and for ridding yourself of anger or whatever emotions may be plaguing you.
We tend to like to walk our dogs, often telling ourselves we’re just making a potti run, but there is far more going on there within a dog walk then we often realize. They bond with us when they walk, they remind themselves who their leader is, and they’re out sniffing all that pee-mail, sending the other doggies text messages, defining their environment, just dozens of forms of communication happening on multiple levels that we are often unaware of on account of the fact that we are not dogs. The power of a dog walk is significant and the number of things that can be accomplished there are really rather profound. It is far more complex than simply making a potti run.
People are different, but we experience similar profound things when we walk, there are physical and chemical changes taking place, forms of communication happening, spiritual work occurring. It is significant and often unseen, unrecognized, but it is happening with or without our attention to it.
Often those of us in faith will say we are “walking with the Lord” or refer to that relationship as “our walk.” Christ Himself says “follow me,” meaning yep, we’re going for a walk. Those might be baby steps, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, or the unsteady gait of a toddler falling down over and over again and getting back up, but it is a walk. Some of us drag our feet and shuffle along begrudgingly, but we’re walking. There are even some of us that must be dragged along like a reluctant puppy because we’re torn between the desire to lay down in the street and refuse to move or to tear off in a million different directions, yanking and pulling at that leash….
There are dozens of bible verses about walking. Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the evening. Christ walks on water, He walks by the Sea of Galilee. We ourselves walk in victory, we walk in light, we walk in his footsteps. 2: Corinthians 5:7 says, “..For we walk by faith, not by sight..” That is the old version, the KJV. Modern translations do not say “walk” they say “live.” Same difference I suppose, to walk is to live, but these days with cars and assorted other creature comforts, we sometimes forget that. We are not told to have a lie-about with Christ or a sit-in or a lovely Sunday drive, but rather to WALK. Not that there is anything wrong with those other things, but to walk implies one must follow, one must move forward, one must engage in perpetual repetitive motion, with a future destination in mind.
“..For we walk by faith, not by sight..” partially because we cannot always see the fruits of our walking, the profound things going on beneath the surface, and far above us.
*****Repost from 2015