My husband Russell and I plan to hike Half-Dome in Yosemite in the fall. We walk each weekend to prepare for the fourteen-mile hike. God calls us to walk with Him too. Stories spill from the pages of Scripture of those who did—and didn’t—walk with Him.
Here are a few tips for walking together:
1. Align your goals. Our goal of hiking Half-Dome keeps my husband and me on the same page. We hold each other accountable. I remind him to Vaseline his feet and apply Band-aids. He reminds me to bring a towel and sunglasses.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus condensed the Ten Commandments to two: love God and love others. Though He has called me to the work of writing, my purpose, goals, and desires must align with His or I’m off. When my goals conflict with His, I’m the one in turmoil.
2. Adjust your pace. If you struggle here, go back to #1. Russell and I do not walk at the same speed. He strolls. Preferably in flip flops. I powerwalk with our ginormous Belgian Mal. Walking together is not fun. Yet because of our common goal, we adjust—and finding joy in the adjustment. Walking with God takes adjustments as well. God sets a pace that stretches me but strengthens me too.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.” Proverbs 3:5-7a
3. Prepare your equipment. Shoes, socks, water. When you walk for hours, you’d better not wear sandals. We break in our hiking boots to prevent blisters, cramped toes, and chafing on the big day. But how do you prep for walking with God? Daily habits set the groundwork for hearing Him speak. Prayer. Time in the Word. Worship. Spiritual disciplines.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
4. Enjoy the walk. Russell and I hiked the Grand Canyon, rim-to rim. Was it grueling? Yes. Was I sore? Yes. Did I lose toenails? Yes. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! We bonded in a way I would have never anticipated (shared suffering?). Likewise, God has engraved highlights and milestones of our spiritual walk on my heart.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
So, walk. One step at a time. Often with a backpack on your shoulders. But the view and the company? The best!
Go for a walk or plan a hike together. The AllTrails app can direct you to trails in your area.
What challenges do you face when the family goes for a walk?
What benefits do you reap?
What makes the walk better? (FYI, taking the family dog helped our kids tremendously. Less whining. More walking.)
How did you prepare?
Have each person plan a walk with God. Report back. How did it go?