Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Reflection, Dec. 3, 2006

Reflection, Dec. 3, 2006


As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok. Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.Solved by Walking

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary,they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31

Walking is good for our souls. Many walk for love and wisdom. A local hospice program owns a large portable labyrinth and calls their ministry, "walking the trail of wisdom." By facilitating a number of my own labyrinth walks and retreats, I have learned walking helps us break old patterns of thinking, doing, and being. Walking helps us honor body and spirit. Everything instructs as we slow down and see, listen, taste, feel, pause, and grow.

Walking helps release hurtful and negative feelings. Walking is known as the perfect total-body exercise. Here are four great reasons to walk: it brightens your mood; it strengthens your body; it energizes your mind; it burns calories (Fenton, Mark and the Editors. "Walking: The New Walker's Logbook," p. 67). Oprah Winfrey has often said, "I've been through every diet under the sun, and I can tell you that getting up, getting out, and walking is always the first goal."

Age-old wisdom reveals that aging people who remain active maintain the vigor and strength of someone ten to fifteen years younger. I looked at a walking journal the other day, and it specifically mentioned that we use more of our body's 650 muscles and 208 bones when we walk, than when we run. Walking also helps prevent osteoporosis (age-related bone loss).

Step by step, we can breathe peace with every step. By breathing a little slower and deeper, we enjoy placing one step in front of the other. People walk for all kinds of reasons. We walk for peace, justice, civil rights, health and wellness, and many other social causes. We walk and talk, walk and meditate. We walk for our physical health, so why not walk for our spiritual health?

The venerable Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that "everything depends on our steps. We struggle in our mind and body, and don't touch the peace and joy that are available right now – the blue sky, the green leaves, the eyes of our beloved" (Hanh, Thich Nhat. "The Long Road Turns to Joy," p. 5). He calls us to be deeply mindful and in touch with the present moment. Our understanding of what is going on will deepen, and we can begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace, and love. Thich Nhat Hanh encourages everyone to begin to practice walking meditation. Because it might be new, we may feel unbalanced, like a baby learning to walk. He says this, "Follow your breathing, dwell mindfully on your steps, and soon you will find your balance. Visualize a tiger walking slowly, and you will find that your steps become as majestic as his" (Ibid., p. 49).

Walk and find strength with God.

God, help us build our strength by walking, walking with You. Amen.

Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press

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