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Step by Step

So one day last week, I walked over 17,000 steps. It was just a regular Tuesday – no family outing, no big long nature walks, no new exercise initiative. I put one foot in front of the other for over 7 miles, and I never left my neighborhood. All of that distance traveled just to stay in the same place. 

Some days that is exactly what living in this time marked by a pandemic feels like. We are expending vast amounts of energy just to stay where we are. I wonder if this is why many of us feel so depleted by staying home. We are traveling miles through an emotional and stressful landscape without ever leaving our kitchens. 

The Apostle Paul uses the image of traveling through a distance many times in his letters. You can find references to running or walking in Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and Romans. The earliest Jesus followers were known as a people “on the way”. As Christians, we are supposed to be following and moving, seeking, and finding. If our faith is modeled after Jesus then we cannot sit still for very long. Walking thousands of steps is not a source of frustration in our faith – that is a part of our Christian DNA. Perhaps our steps in these days feel more tiresome because we need to be reminded of why we live and move. What is the purpose of all of this?

In the Letter of Romans, Paul quotes the prophet, Isaiah:  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7). Wherever you are today, I think your soul’s greatest joy and your body’s purpose will be aligned when you listen to the Spirit who gives a peace which passes all understanding, when you speak a word of good news to your neighbors, when you move to provide relief and help to those in need and when you do all of this knowing God is not finished yet. Step by step, Greystone. Keep moving!

Amanda Atkin
Associate Minister of Faith Formation