COVID-19 shut down many services, including health and wellness organizations, like gyms. Now those restrictions had lifted, and spring had finally sprung, I decided to get back into the gym. On one particular day, my goal was to walk on the track for an hour as I eased back into a routine. I was alone on the track, so I kept a steady pace, determined to achieve my end goal and not burn out. As time went on, I was joined by individuals who were also on a mission.
The left lane of the track is designated for walkers, while the right lane is for runners or those passing. Some enthusiasts walked past me, while others ran by and quickly disappeared. One man walked past me carrying 40-pound weights. Impressive! Others had water bottles, some were empty-handed, and others were preoccupied with their phones. I watched keenly as they passed by and observed that we were all different; young, old(er), tall, short, skinny, heavier, Black, White, and Asian. No one spoke or even exchanged glances but focused on what they were there for, exercise in various forms. Some did their thing and left while others walked, exercised on a machine or two, and returned to walking. Although we were strangers to each other, at some point along the path, we occupied the same space for a short period of time.
There were times when I walked alone so I sang the song, “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me.” At other times I decided to do a “prayer walk” and brought the names of family and friends to the Lord. I did arm movements as I walked along and even danced the last lap, not concerned about how I looked to others. It was a “God and I” thing.
When I contemplated my walking experience, I realized there were teachable moments as I journeyed along the track. Here is what I gleaned:
- In life, people will come alongside us, either for a short time or a long time. Make the best of those relationships.
- Some people will cross our paths briefly, and others may loop back occasionally. We should not try to hold on to people who are not meant to be in our lives forever. Set them free to move on and impact the lives of others.
- Just like a variety of flowers enrich a flower garden, our lives are enriched by people from all cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life. Love them because they are all precious in God’s sight.
- Even if we move in the same direction, we will not experience the same thing simultaneously. Don’t worry about what the other person is doing, but concentrate on where we are and where God is taking us.
- The cares of life will sometimes burden us and we feel like we have to carry the heavy load alone. We can cast our cares on Jesus because He cares for us. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30 NASB).
- People might think you are strange because you are doing something different from the norm. It’s okay to be different. God made you “uniquely you”; you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Besides, what other people think about you is none of your business.
- We are never alone. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) tells us, “Be strong and of good courage…for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Call to Action
What lessons have you been learning as you walk through life? The road may be rough at times. People may pass by without noticing you — as if you are invisible. Trusted friends or family members may desert you. Some, who you least expect, may stay the course with you. No matter what circumstance you find yourself in today, know that there is One who will be with you to the end, no matter what.
In 2 Timothy 4:7–8 (NKJV), Paul declares, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” I am at the stage in my journey where there are fewer miles in front of me than behind me. Today brings me one day closer to reaching the finish line. Like Paul, I want you and I to run our race with endurance and finish well so we will receive that crown when Jesus returns. Ready, get set, go!
Unless noted otherwise, scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.