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Today I Walked

Today I walked. 

I went for an afternoon walk.

I set out with the intention to take a break from my work, get some exercise in, and grab a cup of coffee. This is not an abnormal part of my routine. About 3 days a week I’ll take a break from my work to either go for a walk or get an afternoon pick-me-up.

I left my house, headed to the beach, and walked about half a mile down the coast. I walked back up the sand and crossed the bridge over the dunes, heading toward my coffee shop of choice. 

Coffee in hand, I retraced my steps back toward the water and walked along the shore again back home. By the time I returned I had walked over a mile, drank my iced coffee, listened to a podcast, took a 45-minute break from work, and spent time soaking up the vitamin D and other benefits being outside has to offer. 

Quite the productive break! 

What stuck with me most from this afternoon stroll was not all the things I checked off my list, but the experience of having my bare feet on the ground. My feet went from my living room rug to my wooden deck to the warm sidewalk to the malleable sand. The sand became firm where the tide had packed it in, then soft again as my feet got wet. As I approached the coffee shop, my feet felt sandals and lingering sand rubbing between the skin and the rubber. 

Even with callouses, our feet experience the sense of touch uniquely. They just feel differently than our hands do. Most people can think fondly of a time they were kids running through the grass with bare feet, remembering it with joy and laughter. “Toes in the water” is the title lyric in a song by Zac Brown Band, followed by the phrase “Life is good today.” And not only in nature, but in any environment! In yoga, bare feet and grounding practices are an important part of the movement, bringing unity to mind, body, and soul. 

There’s something about having bare feet that brings me into awareness of God. I remember in college taking my shoes off to preach once, feeling the carpeted platform beneath me as sacred ground. I prefer taking my sandals off during worship nights at our church, too. 

I am not alone in this. When Moses encountered God in the burning bush, God said to him, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). Joshua had a similar experience when confronted by the “commander of the Lord’s army” who told him, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy” (Joshua 5:15). There’s a lot more mention of shoes, feet, sandals, and dust on them throughout the Old and New Testament, and don’t even get me started on the washing of feet! 

My walk today is a perfect example of how the regular moments of life can become more when we sit with them in God’s presence. Something as mundane as feet can become tools for worship and remembrance, drawing our attention to God, his promises, his covenant, and his victory. Regular movement like walking can become a sensory worship experience. 

Today I walked. I went for an afternoon walk on sacred ground. 

I encountered God there.

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
Feel free to share it with others!

2 Responses

  1. What a beautiful word picture of a simple pleasure yet a blessing from God! My favorite thing to do is to go to Lake, Michigan, when the wind is not blowing, the sun is out, and the waves are gently hitting the shore! With warm sand under my feet I could walk for miles and feel peaceful, in the presence of God!

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