It is so sweet when sometimes I seem to sense the Lord pressing a theme for your letter. Have you experienced such, Pilgrim? It's as if the Holy Spirit wants to give you a teaching. This old sheep, myself, usually doesn't get subtleties. And to make an imprint, our Father God has to make a strong impression. He knows me. He knows you, even better than we know ourselves. Isn't that good news?
Anyway, for this letter, I sensed it was to be about a "Worshipful Walk" - that is, a walk full of worship - but I hadn't written to you, Pilgrim.
Then just yesterday, I called my dearest of soulmate sisters-in-Christ, Mary Barwick. She's the one who illustrated three of my books and she is a God gift. I miss her. We used to see each other at least bi-weekly, but now it's more like semi-annually, for we no longer live in the same city.
It was grand visiting on the phone. She said she'd thought about me yesterday when she went on a walk in the woods next to her home. This outing was just lifting her spirits so and then a wonderful gift of a statement came to her mind, which she knew I needed to hear. It was: "This walk is brought to you by God."
I laughed. Yes indeed! It was just what I needed to hear to write to you, Pilgrim. I needed a little encouragement to go and to write. So here goes. And its name is not "A Worshipful Walk," but rather - "This Walk is Brought to You by God."
Silly me - with my letter title, "A Worshipful Walk," guess who I was featuring? Surprise, surprise - me, myself and I! It was about MY walk and MY praise to the Lord and how wonderful that was going to be for ME and HIM! Ugh! Lord, forgive.
Whereas - Mary's title - "This Walk is Brought to You by God" -- changes and rearranges the focus to the TRUTH - our Lord God's TRUTH. It's not about me, or you, Pilgrim. It's about HIM! - whether we're talking about a four-mile walk along a river's edge or an 80-year pilgrimage walk of life. It's not about us, but HIM!
What got me started on this theme in the first place is that part of my new life of being married now for over two years to Dr. Paul, is that almost daily I walk four miles along the path by Flint Creek. At first, this new discipline was hard. My marathoner husband was so sweet. For the first year, he walked me and encouraged me, as I complained.
Slowly, I've taken my eyes off me and my knees and my feet and the heat or the cold and lifted my sights to the Lord. It's as if the scales have fallen off my eyes. I can better see the beauty that surrounds. Leaves ever changing, rearranging. Creatures, great and small, both people and birds, turtles, frogs, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, beavers, spiders, butterflies, dragonflies, horseflies, mosquitoes and gnats. You never know which one will make its appearance.
Then there are the seasons with wildflowers, then berries, seeds, nuts, and then dormant. Oh, and the light and the clouds ever changing in the sky and reflecting on the water. It's become a worshipful walk instead of a woeful one.
Sometimes I still fill my cup with the cacophony of chaotic catastrophic news. I feel like I can't even breathe sometimes. Have you experienced such breathlessness, Pilgrim, occasionally?
Let's look at Luke 24:13-29b. May we join Cleopas and Simon on their walk to Emmaus. What I find so interesting is that our resurrected Lord Jesus joined them on their walk and they were so preoccupied with the cacophony of news of the day, that they didn't even realize Who was with them. (Sometimes I forget too.) I'd like to add some reflections and prayers along the way, if you don't mind.
Lord Jesus Christ, may this be a worshipful walk with You. May all that I say or do glorify you. Amen.
"And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were conversing with each other about all these things which had taken place. And it came about that while they were conversing and discussing, Jesus Himself approached, and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him." Luke 24:13-16
(They seemed preoccupied about the world's problems - so much so that they don't even recognize Jesus, Himself! Lord, forgive, often that is the case for me.)
"And He said to them, 'What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?' And they stood still, looking sad." Luke 24:17
Here Jesus is with them on their walk - their Savior, Lord, Master, Redeemer and Friend and they are so preoccupied with their own situation and circumstance that instead of a worshipful walk, they are sad. "It's me, Jesus. Take off your shoes! This is Holy Ground and Worship!"
"And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, 'Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?' And He said to them, 'What things?' And they said to HIM, 'The things about Jesus the Nazarene, Who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that HE was alive. And some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.'" Luke 24:18-24
(Weren't they having a grand time giving their report - the latest news and gossip. "I can't believe You don't know what's happened! Where have you been, on another planet or something?" "No, just crucified, dead, buried, descended to hell and resurrected.")
"And HE (our Lord Jesus) said to them, 'O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?'" Luke 24:25,26
("Enter into His glory" - Lord Jesus Christ, I yearn to enter into Your glory - use me, Lord, to Your glory - may I dwell in Your glory, too. Might You fill me - may I overflow with Your glory - might You be glorified in and through my life.)
"And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, HE (our Lord Jesus) explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures." Luke 24:27
(Lord Jesus Christ, I ask that through Your Holy Spirit, You might explain to me all that You would have me to understand.)
"And they approached the village where they were going and He (our Lord Jesus) acted as though He would go farther. And they urged HIM, saying, 'Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.'" Luke 24:28,29a
(They asked Him to stay. Lord Jesus Christ, I ask You to please stay with me. I don't want to go another step this day, this life without You as my Constant Companion. May I be more aware of Your presence.)
"And He went in to stay with them." Luke 24:29b
(They asked - "He went in to stay" - Lord Jesus - I ask - please come in and stay - indwell me, Lord, with Your Presence. Amen.)
Precious Pilgrim, this walk - your walk - my walk is brought to us by God! May this knowledge be more deeply perceived today so that we can have a more worshipful journey.