In The Hobbit, there’s a passage that references a map that contains all of Bilbo Baggin’s favorite walking trails. I think I’ve found mine.
There’s a street that runs parallel to West Main Street that I’ve discovered that lends itself to walking and thinking. There’s not a lot of traffic on this road so it’s fairly peaceful.
All the houses on this street have been around a while and every once in a while I’ll run across some kids playing in a back yard or some friendly neighbors who will wave as I pass by. Once I even encountered a chatty grey cat who pegged me for being a cat person and ambled up to me for a bit of petting and conversation.
If I had loads of money, I’d like to live on this street. There is a house for sale that dates back to 1900. There’s another house that recently hit the market that I’d be sorely disappointed if there weren’t a ghost story or two to go with its fabled history.
I prefer walking when it’s not swelteringly hot. It’s hard to achieve tranquility when you’re sweating like a turkey that’s about to be Thanksgiving dinner. Or a pig that’s about to be in a BLT.
I’ve never been one to hear God speaking to me audibly, but I’ve found that God often speaks to me during one of my walks. Plus, I do need the exercise.
The Gospels record many instances of Jesus and the disciples doing a lot of walking. Back then, that was the main way to get from Point A to Point B. You walked.
I imagine that most of the memories the disciples carried with them of Jesus were the ones of the conversations they had while en route from one town to another. That’s how Jesus often speaks to us today. Generally not in those special moments but in the grind of daily life while we’re headed from one place to another.
So often in the walk of faith, the journey is just as important as the destination and the lessons we learn most are the ones we learn along the way.