Now that our youngest child is four years old and is in pre-school, my wife just recently returned to the classroom teaching special education. For the last two and a half years she has been a stay-at-home mom. Consequently that has less income and so we have been for the most part a one vehicle family. Now that she is working again, we will eventually get a second vehicle but in the meantime, I have to do a lot more walking to get around since my wife drives the car to her school. This includes walking my daughter to school and walking to the nearest bus stop if I want to take public transportation.
The amazing this is that walking has opened up some great opportunities. So I want to share these three opened opportunities as reasons why you might take a walk as part of your ministry
- More opportunities for prayer and reflection. Walking takes more time and does not require the focus that is necessary to drive a care safely. Walking also opens up time that could easily be filled otherwise with activities that cannot or should not be done while walking (e.g., reading a book, responding to emails, etc…). But it’s a perfect time just to pray and reflect. Discernment is such a vital component to living as a disciple of Jesus and ministering with his people. Such discernment requires prayer and reflection. Walking creates some more space and time for that.
- More opportunities to meet other people. Part of my walking is to walk with my seven year-old daughter to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon. Picking her up by car means waiting in a line of cars, where I am sitting by myself. By walking my daughter to school, I have begun to meet other parents – especially in the afternoon when I arrive at school and stand with those parents while waiting for my daughter to exit the school. Any time spent in the community with other people of the community is bound to be a good thing for those called to ministry. Walking has given me this opportunity.
- More opportunities to for your children. Most of my minister friends also have young children. So listen up: Our first priority in ministry is to teach our children that they may be spiritually formed into disciples of Jesus as they grow up. I have been having some great conversations with my daughter about all things related to God and life. We have talked about everything from why the world is such a violent place to why dad “preaches.” Just yesterday as we were walking along, another woman dropped a dollar bill and did not notice it. So I picked the dollar up and returned it to here which gave me an opportunity to teach my daughter about doing what is right in life. Quality time with your children will only happen in the quantity of time you spend with them. There is no guaruantee but if you want to make a disciple out of your children, take some time to take a walk with them.
Well, there you have it. If you want to change your routine a bit in a way that might create some great opportunities for the sake of God’s mission and glory… Take a walk!