Walking Through Life

An unusual thing happened to me a few years ago. I spoke casually with a woman who served tables at a restaurant I frequented. We knew each other by first name only, but usually chatted for a few minutes each time I dined there.

One day, she asked me, “Do you have a son about eight years old?”

'What has he done?' I thought. I nodded yes.

She pressed on. “Does he play soccer?”

When I said that he did, she asked if he played in a game the previous week at a particular field. Again, I answered, “Yes.”

“I thought so,” she smiled. “I saw him and thought he must be your son.”

Since there were tens of thousands of young boys in the city, I was amazed and exclaimed, “I didn't know he looked that much like me!”

“Oh, I didn't see his face,” she said smiling as if she were keeping a secret.

“Then how did you know he was my son?” Now I was puzzled.

“I was just sitting in the car, and I saw a little boy in a baseball cap walking across the field to join his team. He walks like you.”

Walks like me? Now I was curious. How do I walk? Since I'm doing the walking, I don't notice how I look to others. Maybe I could watch him amble around to get an idea.

That said, how we walk down a street and how we walk through life are very different things. Perhaps I can't help how I walk down a street, but I want to be intentional about how I walk through life.

Through life, I want to walk gently. I want to treat all of life – the earth and its people – with reverence. I want to remove my shoes in the presence of holy ground. As much as possible, I want to walk in peace.

I want to walk lightly, even joyfully, through whatever days I am given. I want to laugh easily. I want to step carefully in and out of people's lives and relationships. I don't want to tread any heavier than necessary.

And throughout life, I think I would like to walk with more humility and less anger, more love and less fear. I want to walk confidently, but without arrogance. I want to walk in deep appreciation. I want to be genuinely thankful for life's extravagant, yet simple, gifts – a star-splattered night sky or a hot drink on an ice-cold day.

If life is a journey, then how I make that journey is important. How I walk through life.

But still I wonder how I look when I walk down a street.


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