I set my foot down firmly onto the paved trail. Eight smaller feet rushed on ahead of me in my steady pace. This was a new trail, and therefore a new adventure laid ahead.
It was a balmy December afternoon, just after a couple days of rain, and the clouds still had not figured out how to clear the sky above us.
The four little children I had with me were my own. Each had on a set of rubber boots, hoping to splash in puddles and in the creek beside the trail as we went along the trail.
As we walked there was much splashing, much giggling. The children rushed about the trail, sometimes walking, sometimes running up to the bend in the path and waiting for me and my oldest daughter to catch up.
My son found a vine, hanging from a tree and made a swing of it, which was amazing fun for some time. The sediment of the creek was like soft beech sand, and the children loved to feel their rubber boots get sucked into the sand as they sloshed along in the creek. We came to a brick wall, and instead of walking beside it, it provided opportunity for going up, balancing across, and coming down again…much more fun than the ordinary walking trail.
We call our daily outings, “adventures.” Every time we get out we discover new places, new sights in nature, and even meet some people.
When my children were very small, their endurance on such walks was limited, but now, that my youngest is past five, we find the average three mile walk or hike is very easy to accomplish.
I have chosen to incorporate daily walking into our lives for an insurmountable number of reasons. The most important reason is relationship.
Relationship building is a paramount theme in my life. It is so deeply biblical and is key in growing in love for God and for others. My relationships with God and with others is the only thing that carries on from this world to eternity, and it is vital that I focus efforts and discipline myself in ways that will help me improve all those relationships, as well as help others, such as my children, deepen their relationship with God, my husband and I, and each other.
So, one might ask how a walk cultivates relationship with God. There are many ways that our hearts can be drawn closer to God. Reading Scripture, praying, and spending time with fellow believers are important and very biblical ways to develop a closeness with God. Nature is one of the best sources of deepening our amazement and worship of our Creator.
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10
Nature keeps us humble as we are reminded how small and how out-of-control we are in life.