Seeing God Everywhere in Everything

For the better part of my life I felt as if I walked under a cloud. And yet, I also felt I was walking with an incredible protective force and in my spirit, I never felt I was walking alone. Even as a young girl, I had a special affinity for the outdoors and found laughter and joy there. Despite what was happening behind the walls of my home, school, or in my neighbor’s homes, I still felt a supernatural degree of security. I could never quite explain it to anyone and therefore, I kept it to myself.

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From an early age my mother instilled in me a trust and faith in a God I could not see or fully understand. I learned to pray at an early age and to walk and talk with God. I have vivid memories of walking to and from school and praying as I walked. I always loved our rides to the country or to the beach because I found such enormous calm and peace there in the great outdoors.

It was in the outdoors that I discovered the lighter walk, surrounded by God’s creation, I discovered freedom from a world that terrified me. For as long as I can remember I heard that God was everywhere. It was part of my religious training and the simple truth my mother spoke into my life. As I grew in my faith and sought to “find God,” I began to see him everywhere I went. More and more he spoke to me as I walked and breathed in his spirit. More and more he became my constant companion, pointing out the incredible world he created. And as I have continued down his pathway, he has lightened the burdens of my past with forgiveness and grace. Today I walk the Lighter Walk because I walk with him.

Look around you today. Can you see God in the creation of our world? That magnificent blade of grass popping out in the midst of dry soil? The blooming flowers that bring forth a wondrous odor? The sky above that warms your face just as the night moon cools the night? These are the gifts of peace I find when I look beyond myself and desire to be closer to the Creator. In the great outdoors, I find he lightens my daily walk and reminds me that I am never alone. I hope you will find that too.

“I am a God who is everywhere and not in one place only. No one can hide where I cannot see them. Do you not know that I am everywhere in heaven and on earth?”
Jeremiah 23:23-24

Walking Alone

One of the more difficult things that we singles deal with is doing things on our own. It isn’t always easy, even for us extroverts. For me, entering a room by myself, especially if I don’t know anyone else, puts me in automatic introvert mode. I scan the room for a familiar face or at least someone else that is standing alone too. It is one of the most stressful things we do: we walk alone.

I guess in part that is why I have developed such a fondness for walking. I don’t need anyone else to walk with me. I also don’t feel as if I stand out because I am walking alone — lots of people are walking all by themselves.

Somehow in the solitude of walking alone, I find peace. It is in these times that I find myself having those spiritual conversations with God about being alone and what my purpose is for this world in which I live. I come home feeling more energized and more purposeful.

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I am reminded that there are blessings to living a single life and if I focus on those then I can find joy. I am able to walk where I want and experience what is there for me to breathe in. I can make my own decisions about where I go and when I go. I can focus on me for a short while instead of focusing on the needs of a partner. I don’t see this as selfish but rather I see it as a healthy way to build the energy to interact with others in that purposeful way I am seeking.

So the next time I feel alone (or lonely) I think I will put on my shoes and take that walk outside my door. I will look at the beauty of the world in which we live and spend some time talking with the one who created it. I think it will bring more balance to those times when I have to walk in the room alone – I can reach back and pull forward the safety and comfort I felt walking with the creator and enter the room knowing I am not ever actually walking alone…

 

Returning to the Walk’

I was sick for a few days and not up to taking my walk. In my mind I was walking, but the feet weren’t actually moving. It’s like those times when we have an inspirational thought and can visualize a possible outcome-and then we don’t actually put fire to the vision to bring it to life.

In the business world, I was pretty darn good at coming up with great ideas and gathering smart minds together to implement my vision. I have not had that same success in church ministry or in fully implementing the vision I have been given for singles. It is much harder to get people involved unless they see some direct benefit or application to their lives. Your vision may not be theirs and they may not feel compelled to join your team.

That is perfectly okay. If God has given you a vision go ahead and take the steps forward. Ask people to join you and don’t be upset if they don’t share your vision. Share your vision any way because it is possible that someone else will have the responsibility to lay out the mission and pathway forward. In the end, if we remember not to make it all about us, our vision might come to life, even if it is under the leadership of someone else.

Don’t be afraid to receive a new vision either. Let go of what didn’t seem to work, learning and growing from the experience, and chart a new path for yourself. That’s what I did with The Lighter Walk. It was time to change. And as I have begun this new Walk, I am refreshed and excited to just keep stepping forward, wherever the road leads.

If you have taken a pause on your walk, consider restarting the walk before it slips away from you altogether. Ask people you trust to walk with you and help you to see the call more clearly. Get a coach or spiritual director who has no agenda other then to see you walk forward. Never be afraid to begin again because after a period away you are likely to return with new ideas and new energy. Go ahead–hit the start button and GO!!

When a Walk Becomes a Call

Is your walk just a walk or does your walk have a deeper meaning for you? Is your walk your purpose? Are you in pursuit of something more then what you have today? Are you guided by something supernatural (perhaps God?) in your walk? Are you seeking a higher ground on your walk?

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For me, my walk is my journey to grow closer to God, to see him more clearly in nature and in the environment around me. My walk is to open my eyes and ears to the world in which I live and share what I experience that others might also be encouraged to seek out more in their lives. Each time I walk I do so expecting the unexpected.

Some may equate “walk” with “calling” and living out their ministry as a “God-walk.” I believe that we must first walk and spend some time just being, before we can run into our calling. Far too often we believe we have heard God directing us into a ministry or a mission field and we are so excited to just get going, that we forget to prepare for the road ahead. Sometimes the walk alone is a calling, as it is for me right now.

And sometimes we become so consumed with wanting to meet the expectations of those in our community or family that we walk into ministry as if reporting for duty. It becomes like another job and we aren’t even sure if it is really want we want to do or are called to do. It becomes all about the doing and the showmanship and less and less about hearing and seeing what God wants from us and for us.

Maybe you are familiar with the Bible story in Luke 24 about the men walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus after the Crucifixion of Jesus.  They were devastated and didn’t know what to do next with their lives. They were just walking and talking when they were joined by another man who asked what they were talking about. They told him of their loss and their disappointment that Jesus was gone.  They had lost their faith and were walking in a fog because things didn’t go as they had expected. The new walker told them stories about the coming of the Messiah and what scripture said about him. And still they could not see, because they were not open to see, that the man walking and talking to them was in fact the risen Jesus. When they weren’t even looking; God showed up. A simple act of breaking bread opened their eyes to the truth and they realized that all along Jesus had been walking with them. Even when they weren’t looking, he was there. Ever have that happen on your walk?

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Let your walk be an adventure of self-examination and awareness. Don’t try too hard on your walk to have the great breakthrough. Just be in the moment, enjoy the surroundings, and let God speak to you when you are ready to hear. And maybe in the midst of that walking, alone or with another, you too will discover a calling that God has placed on your heart. Take time to sit with it and to let it blossom in your very inner soul until it you feel ready to run into action. And even then…walk forward, a step at a time, pacing yourself for a journey that could be life-changing and maybe even life-giving.

Even if you don’t have that revelation for self, keep walking. And when you do receive that vision, keep walking and listening. Let it become what it needs to become for you in your life. Walk on my friends – walk on!!