At 43yrs of age I am finding certain things much easier and others growing harder. Among the things growing harder is staying in shape. Through my teens, twenties and thirties I thought very little about staying in shape because my interest in extreme inline skating and skateboarding and the manual labor of my jobs and hobbies kept me in good shape. Now, with my participation in extreme sports ending and my manual labor becoming the exception rather than the rule, I have to think about staying in shape. Wait, what? Yea, I have to think about staying in shape now! I know, poor me right. Many of you may be thinking, “Welcome to my world, I’ve had to think about staying in shape all my life.” If you are among my readers who think this, kudos! I’m learning how much self discipline it takes to be intentional with one’s health. If you’ve been doing it for years, God bless you for your intentional stewardship of your health.
Among the things I now do to remain in a reasonable resemblance of good shape is I attempt to walk at least an hour every day. I don’t do it with weights or power walking. I “just” walk. Physically I walk in the same manner as I would at any other time, but mentally I set my heart on finding others to share the light of Christ with. When I make my walks intentional like this I call them soul walks. I begin each of my soul walks with a cup of water, a prayer for God to help me come across people who will converse with me and the first verse of the song, “Give Me One Soul Today”:
“Give me one soul today, Lord teach me just what to say; Friends of mine are lost in sin and cannot find their way. Few there are who seem to care and few there are who pray; melt my heart, use my life, give me one soul today.”
If I am walking my neighborhood, I attempt greet everyone within talking distance with a “Good morning neighbor.” If it is not my neighbor than only a “Good morning.” In both cases I try to part with them with a “God bless you” or “Go with God.” Sometimes interchanges only last the time it takes for us to pass by one another. At other times their responses create opportunity for more conversation. Though I am walking for exercise, I do not hesitate to stop and talk if the opportunity presents itself (Colossians 4:5,6).
Whatever direction the conversation goes, I have as my focus, representing the truths of God and revealing Him as the source. This might include saying things like, “Yea, God is good in that way,” or “As a Christian I…” Really this is the kind of conversation I try to have in any context of interaction with others and not just during my soul walks. During these conversations, I have it as my goal also to invite people to know the Lord, whether it comes out as an invitation to meet with the church or do personal Bible study together or both, I have it as a personal goal to offer some form of invitation.
My last couple of soul walks have resulted in multiple interchanges including three extended conversations. One of these interchanges resulted in the man whom I met having personal Bible study with me and attending church services with me that very evening! In fact, this guy, Sean was sitting on his porch playing video games on his phone when I approached. At my greeting quickly followed by an invitation to church services, he revealed he was in a rough patch in his life and that he thought God knew he needed someone to talk to and sent me. Humbling to say the least.
We’ve since texted some and spoken on the phone once. Though our schedules have not coincided yet again, it is our desire to meet and study together further. My goal for our next encounter is to study the gospel and compare our obediences with it to see if we’ve actually put on Christ to be saved or not (Galatians 3:26,27, et. al.).
Walking for “exercise” has a dual benefit when it is done with souls in mind. It aids good physical and spiritual health. Soul walks build up my body and my soul, with a view to greater physical health, stronger spiritual living and the promise of the fruits of salvation in the lives of others! I urge you to try it!