Walking with God

walking I came home from work yesterday and took a walk.

It's getting warmer in my corner of the world and the balmy evening called to me. I wanted to walk with God in the cool of the day as if I were in the Garden again.

The day had left me feeling worn and frayed a little. At first, I wasn't even sure why. When I walk alone, I talk to God, almost without thinking about it. It's unconscious, this is what we do when we walk.

As I prayed, the day unfolded in hindsight. It was a very productive day. I accomplished quite a few things, but there were one or two tasks that I took a stab at, and did not do correctly. There were a few times that I had to apologize for ignorance or thoughtlessness. Those moments rankled me. The rest of the day would not overturn them, they were what I was dwelling on, thinking about and stewing over.

There is a loop that I walk in my neighborhood, it takes about an hour. I spent that hour talking through the things that hadn't gone right, allowing God to begin to fill me with peace. I don't like it when I do my best and it becomes a "learning experience" I like to do it right the first time, I like to be brilliant and a natural and blow everyone away.

There have been few experiences like that in my life.

In spite of these constant reminders of my humanity, I still forget how crucial my intimate connection to God is. I forget to walk with Him, not just literally, but figuratively, too. I do this all the time.

Photo by Anand Balasubramaniam/Flickr/Creative Commons

When I got home, I spent a little time catching up on some reading and I found this post by Addie Zierman, who blogs over at How to Talk Evangelical. She said something that found a tender place within me, in that vulnerable evening and came to rest:

I think about how hard I work to avoid needing grace.

I know it is the truest thing. The most beautiful thing. But I keep working myself to exhaustion, trying to somehow deserve it.

I would love to be able to do everything right the first time. I would love to not be new at my job and human at my relationships and flawed in my logic. I would love to only do things that I could do perfectly (which would be rather limiting at this point). I would love to not need grace ever.

Or so I think.

I was walking and talking with my mom this weekend. We talk about a lot of things together and this week we were talking about identity, among other things. I get caught up in my roles, what I do, all the time. Things that are good and lovely and God-given sometimes become too important, or too much pressure, or just, not the point.

She reminded me, as she often does, that I am not what I do. I am who I am, and who I am is rooted firmly in Christ. That will not change at the core, no matter what I do or do not do. God's love for me does not change because I am not perfect. He created me, He is not surprised by my imperfections. I need to relax and dwell with Him a bit and stop trying to earn gold stars.

There are a several people in the Bible who are said to have "walked with God." They weren't perfect people, and I'm sure that they did not consistently do the right thing every day. But they walked with God, they talked with Him and allowed Him to shape what they did. They allowed Him to teach them through their own humanity, hard and painful as that is.

I want to do that, too.

Photo by bestarns/flickr/creative commons