Step by step

I used to walk around my neighborhood all the time;  I am sure the neighbors took notice of it, and maybe they noticed when I stopped too.  There were a couple of factors as to why I stopped, one, I sprained my ankle and got out of the habit.  Two, I live in the country, and have already been too close for comfort to a momma bear and her cubs, which makes me somewhat skittish.  Three, since being widowed nearly three years ago, I don’t like walking about the roads alone with no one waiting for me at home to notice if I don’t come back. But recently, I have started walking for exercise again, and a couple of weeks ago, Mother’s Day to be specific, I decided to make a trek I had only done perhaps twice before.  It entailed walking halfway down my street to where another street meets it at a fork and walking that road in it’s entirety. Round trip it is 14,000 steps or close to 6 miles.  It was a beautiful morning for a walk, the sun was shining, not too hot and a breeze could be felt every once in awhile.  Not much traffic either and hardly anyone outside, which was fine with me.  I took a small bottle of water with me, and my phone and I started along the familiar stretch of road.

I knew I had quite a lot of ground to cover and, though I wasn’t in a hurry, I wasn’t planning on just strolling either.  Since this was the same trail in which I saw the bear, about ten years prior, I kept my eyes open for any such sightings again.  But all was calm, and I stopped to take pictures along the way of the pretty scenic views that I came upon. On that road, a little ways up, there is a bright yellow house.  It belongs to one of the well known families of the area and it certainly stands out.  Up even further, maybe a half mile or so;  there is a small dilapidated shack, with no door or windows, just openings where they should be.  Legend has it that it was the childhood home of another person from the well known family and that the person now lives in a very grand estate next door.  He keeps the old homestead as a reminder as to where he came from.

There used to be a place on this road that was home to at least 6 or 7 fairly large dogs.  I was always leery of them, some were friendly and some were not and all would come running and barking if they saw me.  Thankfully, they don’t seem to be there anymore.

It started to get hot as I walked, and I finished my bottle of water pretty quickly.  At some point thereafter I felt a little light headed and I regretted not bringing more water, nor eating anything before I left.  Still I plodded on until finally I saw the end of the road where it meets Route 340 near a trailer park.  I knew I had at least two and a half miles until I got back home and I also knew I didn’t feel quite right.  Plus I had an added problem of pebbles that kept finding their way into the hole in one of my sneakers.  I would stop periodically to take off my shoe and empty it of the contents, only to take a couple of steps and find myself in the same situation.

I was more concerned about the dizzy, light-headed feeling, however.  A friend of mine had told me how he “speaks” against things in Jesus’ Name, so I did that, out loud.  I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of, “I will make it home okay, I will not pass out;  I will feel better soon, in Jesus’ Name.”  It didn’t take long at all for that to become a reality!  In fact I didn’t even realize it right away, I had become engrossed in something I was looking at on my phone as I walked; but then it occurred to me, I felt back to normal.

And when I realized that, my steps felt lighter.  I had been laboring under the uncertainty of whether I would end up having to knock on some stranger’s door and ask for a glass of water; or if I might end up with heat stroke and pass out.  I knew that I had a lot of steps to make to get back home and it had been all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. But once it was over and I felt like myself again, it was a breeze to walk the rest of the way home.  I quite enjoyed it!

So it occurs to me that this is what it’s like in life—the way seems really hard sometimes, and I don’t know how or if I’m going to make it.  It’s all I can do to go on.  It seems like I may collapse.  The journey is long, arduous and not much fun, if I’m honest.

Still, there is Help when I need Him, when I call on Him, when I speak in His Name.  He can make my path straight; and my steps lighter.  How much easier it is then to walk in the way that He has set before me!


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