Notes from Life's Journey

October 1, 2009

Walking With God

The modern ballet and oratorio, Saviour, opens with the creation story; in the opening scene God sings of the beauty and mystery of his creation that has no one there to appreciate it; then Adam awakens to the sounds and beauty of creation, and God and Adam sing a lyrical love duet. I wish a fully staged and choreographed video were available online; it is beautiful, both musically and conceptually.

In Genesis 3:8 we hear the next step in the creation story: “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking [emphasis obviously mine] in the garden in the cool of the day…” His voice would have been the voice of invitation to join Him on His walk in the garden, but we know the rest of the story for Adam and his wife, Eve – after being disobedient, they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God …” and when God asked Adam where he was, he replied, “I heard the sound of you and I was afraid, so I hid.”

In spite of God’s invitation to Adam to walk with Him in the garden and His invitation to Abram to walk in His presence, I think many of us, like Adam, play hide and seek with God rather than walk with Him. Sometimes we hide in the hopes He won’t know what we’re thinking or doing; sometimes we seek Him (mostly at times of need); other times it seems as if He hides from us.

If we take a cue from comedians and therapists and ask ourselves, “How’s that working for you?” rather than hiding from God, we might decide to try God’s invitation to walk with Him. I’m not at all clear what that may mean in my everyday life. I’ve been reading a book on creativity by Julia Cameron called, Walking in this World. She says, “Nothing brings home the beauty and power of the world that we live in like walking. Moving into our bodies, we embody the truth that as artists we are out to make a ‘body of work,’ which means we must encompass more than each day’s march. A Weekly Walk helps us to acquire such an overview. It allows us to find both perspective and comfort. As we stretch our legs, we stretch our minds and our souls. St. Augustine, himself a great walker, remarked, ‘Solvitur ambulando’ – ‘it is solved by walking.’ The ‘it’ that we solve may be as particular as a bruising romance or as lofty as the conception of a new symphony. Ideas come to us as we walk. We also invite their quieter friend, insight. Walking often moves us past the ‘what’ of our life into the more elusive, ‘why.’”

If, as the creation story tells us, we were made in God’s image, and if we see Him in the pages of the Bible walking and inviting us to join Him, might it not be worth giving it a try. Ms. Cameron only suggests a 20-minute walk a week – that’s not a lot. I’m not sure the typical exercising walk we take with IPOD blaring out country music or rap or songs of lost love and longing will be the avenue to a connection to the God who made us and loves us. Another song, an old hymn, may hold a better key:

I come to the garden alone IMG_0888
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

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