My head is bowed.
Not because I’m praying, but because I don’t want to trip over an unseen rock or protruding root. However, I don’t want to miss the larger view either. I want to look up as much as down. Which, is a good thing.
I like this trail. It has natural variation in its straight paths and uphill grades. It moves from the deep embrace of forest to expansive views of the lake. It has a variety of flowers, plants, and trees. It’s long enough to challenge me and short enough to finish in a few hours.
The trail allows me to breathe. Or at least remember that I’m breathing. To breathe deeper. Slower. Faster. It feels like I’m the car and someone is filling my tank with the breath of life.
The trail reminds me of my body and the way I move. My left foot throbs with a soft pain, alerting me that I must favor one foot over the other. I feel my extra pounds more succinctly, because I’m actually carrying them somewhere. But, I don’t feel as condemned about my weight as when I’m still. Some people can’t walk this trail at all. Lord, thank you for my ability to walk.
The trail does challenge me. Especially when I start out. I regret the walk in the beginning. My initial aches and shortness of breath overcome the beauty that’s around me. But, I’m going somewhere. I’m doing something. My convictions mute my complaints. Eventually, my physical limitations are diminished by joy.
I feel God. He is not the rock. The tree. The blade of grass or the bird. But he is here. Oh, he is here! His touch is everywhere and infuses me with his peace, his love, and his tender care in a way I could never find in a church building. My eyes well up in gratitude.
I worship God by the very act of walking.
My head is bowed.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. – Psalm 116:8-9
About John Michalak
An author, speaker, musician, and minister, John Michalak has spent more than 25 years equipping others in the areas of life-change and personal relationship. John’s inspirational new book, 365 Devotions To Embrace What Matters Most is now available from Zondervan publishing.
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