This morning I took a walk with my boys. Along the Texas Hill Country trails, which flow though the greenbelts that surround our neighborhood, we walked. I, my boys, and our dog walked. Walking is actually very simple, but we should beware of simple things. As Cormac McCarthy says through his character Black in the novel The Sunset Limited, “The simplest things has got more to em than you can ever understand.” I think that’s true of walking. There seems more to walking than just it.
“To make walking into an investigation, a ritual, a meditation, is a special subset of walking, physiologically like and philosophically unlike the way the mail carrier brings the mail and the office worker reaches the train. Which is to say that the subject of walking is, in some sense, about how we invest universal acts with particular meanings.” Those words flow from the pen of Rebecca Solnit and can be found in her book Wanderlust. And isn’t she right? About walking? Don’t the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments invest “particular meanings” in the “universal act” of walking? The Apostle Paul writes, “I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.”
And he is by no stretch of the proverbial imagination the only biblical author who utilizes the image of walking. Walking is actually talked about quite a bit in the Bible. Near the very beginning of the biblical story Abram is told by God to walk throughout all of the Promised Land (Gen 13); Joshua is similarly commanded by God generations later (Josh 18). In like manner the psalmist exhorts the people of God to “walk about Zion” (48:12), while John’s apocalyptic vision of the new heavens and earth has the nations walking with their glory in the light of the presence of God (Rev 21). Why all this walking?
At the very least walking occupies a metaphoric prominence in the scriptures, serving as one of the main images for living. How one walks is how one lives. But along with living, walking seems to depict knowing. Where and with whom you walk is what and whom you know. It would seem that to understand the Bible and its message one would have to be a walker. Let’s take it one step further (pun intended) – in order to rightly relate to the God of the Bible, people have to walk. Read more