At the end of July, frustrated with my seeming inability to get myself to the gym to work out, I started walking for about an hour every day. Thirty-five days and over 100 miles later, I haven’t stopped.
When I began, it was more about my waistline than anything else, but it didn’t take long for my daily treks to transform into something more. In addition to helping me get my steps in every day, the walks opened up a pathway for me to draw near to the Lord.
The summer was stressful, and by the end of the so-called break, I was overwhelmed by the combined weight of all my responsibilities. I felt distant and far away from God and knew something had to give, so instead of putting in my earbuds when I laced up my shoes, I decided to leave them behind.
It’s a decision that I don’t regret. Putting down my phone for an hour, stepping outside, and intentionally spending time with God while I walk each day has been good for both my body and my soul.
Here are three spiritual practices that have become habits on my walks each day.
As soon as my feet hit the pavement outside my house, I begin naming the things I’m grateful for. I start with the obvious: the air in my lungs, shoes on my feet, and a body that’s physically able to carry me. Then I keep going. I name big things like the kindness and compassion of the Lord. Forgiveness. Mercy. Grace. I also name small, simple things like a phone call from a friend or a sweet word from one of my daughters.
Simply taking the time to give thanks for the buckets of blessings that God has poured out on me each day has had a softening effect on my heart. Not only is God good, but he’s good to me. And I’m grateful.
Lately, I’ve had a lot of worries weighing heavy on my heart and mind. Without a podcast to distract me as I walk, the anxieties inside my head have a tendency to start swirling. When that happens, I just talk it out with God, and lay alllllll my concerns out there for him to handle.
He’s big enough to take on the biggest issues that I face, and even though I still don’t know the best way forward in some cases, I have peace knowing that it’s in God’s hands. I trust him to lead me in the way I should go when it’s time for me to go. Until then, I’ll just keep walking and talking it over with him.
Creating has always felt essential to me—a necessary part of my worship—but creativity needs space to breathe, and ideas need time to percolate. The solitude I enjoy on my daily walks has unlocked something deep within me, and for the first time in what feels like forever, I’m feeling inspired.
This is a direct answer to some of the prayers I’ve prayed over the past 35 days. What a beautiful gift from a good God!
Ready to Start?
I never imagined that daily walks would be such a blessing, but I'm so glad that I gave it a try. What about you? How do you connect with the Lord each day? Could regular walks be a way for you to commune with God? Give it a try and let me know! I'd love to hear what the Lord is doing in your life.
👟 Leslie Ann