There are many reasons why I like to go for a walk, but two of them are as follows:
a) I like to get away from people every now and then.
b) I like to spend time with God.
However, those two reasons are not mutually exclusive, which is a common mistake we introverts often make. Another mistake is to assume that during those lonely strolls the only thing God wants to do with us is internal. Those of us prone to mysticism can be so lost in our thoughts that the rich young ruler could come to us and say, “What must I do to be saved?” and our instinctive response would be, “Push off, I’m praying.”.
The thing is, when you try to get away in order to spend time with God, you’re climbing into the ring with Him, and sometimes He fights dirty. You just want a bit of peace and quiet in order to reflect and have Him all to yourself, but He just can’t help trying to draw your attention to the universe outside. If you really want to spend time with God, you have to take the rough with the smooth. Thankfully, I’ve had some excellent teachers, so now I tend to go for my prayer walks with one eye on my soul and the other on the world around me.
Richard Wurmbrand tells of the first time that he ever entered a church. As an eight-year old he went in with a school friend who had been sent to deliver a message to the Catholic priest. After the message had been passed on, the priest spoke to Richard.
“What can I do for you, little fellow?”
“Nothing. I just entered with my friend,” said Richard.
“I am the disciple of One who has taught me never to allow anybody to pass near me without doing him at least a little bit of good. It is hot outside. Would you allow me to bring you a cup of cold water?” said the priest.
Wurmbrand said it was the best cup of water he’d ever tasted.
That’s pretty good. I would like it if the word ‘Christian’ was synonymous with ‘One who never allows anybody to pass nearby without doing at least a little bit of good’. I try to keep that in mind when I’m out and about, because God’s always at work. If I’m trying to hang out with Him then I should expect to be dragged into such things.