I’ll admit, I’m a sappy, happy, hopeless romantic, and one of my favourite things to do in the whole, wide world is go for beach walks with my man. Yes, I am a living, breathing “I enjoy long walks on the beach” cliché! During our 33 years together (totally can’t believe we have been married nearly 28 years- WE ARE ANCIENT!), we have plodded, chased, strolled, jogged, and meandered along a plethora of beaches in numerous countries. That place where the ocean/ sea/ lake meets the shore is my special place, and I love being there with people I love. I just can’t help it.
Lyndon and I got to spend time walking this stretch of heaven a couple of weeks ago… and it was the most stunning beach I have ever seen. Walking on silk, I kid you not. For anyone observing us hand-in-hand, I hope they guessed we are in love. Whether we were laughing, deep in conversation, or basking in our own thoughts, I really hope these were the genuine vibes emanating from us as a couple, at least most of the time! It probably helped that we were in paradise rather than a grocery store, but we were walking in love, for all to see.
Where am I going with all this gushy, mushy stuff? If Lyndon and I stomped along that beach six feet apart, scowling, and even shouting at one another, it would paint quite a different picture. Deep down we might be walking in love, but others would have a hard time seeing it, and a hard time being interested in a relationship like ours.
What about our relationship with God? Is it real? Is it obvious? Is it buried under a pile of accumulated junk? Do people shudder or smile when they see us walking the walk and talking the talk?
When we weren’t hanging at the beach, we visited the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, and it was breathtaking. I took lots of amazing facts away with me, but the one which hit me the hardest was expressed by our guide, a Mayan descendent. He explained how, in his words, the Christians came from Spain and sought to put an end to Mayan culture and religion. They physically tortured the Mayan people, stripped them of their weapons leaving them defenseless, and burned all their books and papers, bar three. And then forcibly presented their God. There was an understandable bitterness in our sweet guide’s voice, and I wondered at the time, “Where was the love?” How on earth could the “Christians” have barged in with a truckload of perceived obedience and determination to share their faith, yet not an ounce of love? What was there to draw the people to Jesus? Ugh. It happened throughout the ages and it happens today.
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 2 John:6
“…walk in love”
Why? Why do we need to walk in love? Isn’t walking in obedience, following God’s commands enough? Actually no, as it happens, it’s not. It can be demanding and tough and frustrating sometimes, and our humanness leaks out all over the place. That’s why we NEED His love to infiltrate every part of our walk. More of Him, less of us. It’s a win-win:
“This is the test of our love to God, our obedience to him. This is love to ourselves, to our own souls, that we walk in obedience to divine commands. In keeping them there is great reward. This is love to one another, to engage one another to walk in holiness; and this is the evidence of our sincere, mutual, Christian love—that we (in other things) walk after God’s commands.”(Matthew Henry’s Commentary)
I know; that’s a lot to spew out from a walk on the beach. But maybe next time you’re taking a stroll or a run or a power-walk, think about not only where you are walking, but how… and not just when you think others are watching 😉
One step at a time,
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: