Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 257
Miles walked: 660
Miles remaining: 340
Days remaining: 109
For me, I’d have to say that Faith + Obedience = Blessings. Some days that’s all that gets me through my walk.. faith and obedience. Today was one of those days. My body hurts all over and it was a chore just to put one foot in front of the other. Jesus was right beside me, every step of the extra long 4.45 miles today. Even when it hurts, it’s all worth it in the end.
I don’t even need to say more, do I? I have faith. TONS of faith.. For some reason, Faith has always been an easy one for me. No matter what the situation, I know that it’s going to turn out the way it is meant to turn out. So whether it’s good, bad, hard, easy, or whatever, I know that if I remain obedient to God, then it’s all going to work out. We know how the story ends, right? God wins. The End. I suppose that’s what makes it easy for me to have faith.
Well, that’s another story.. I’ve been praying for some help in being more obedient to God. It seems that obedience has always been a problem for me. When I was a kid, I remember being in Sunday school and hearing, “children, obey your parents”. Obey? It meant that someone was supreme over me. I was to be submissive. I suppose that I still have issues with this one. I’ll be 100% honest here… When I got married, I decided that we would do some nontraditional vows and make them a little more “up to date”. It was all because of that one word. Obey.
“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed. ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-6
That sounds like a good enough reason to be obedient, but being obedient has obviously given everyone some grief since the beginning of time. Eve? Yep, she was the first to disobey. I hate to say it but it always makes me feel a little bit better about my inequities when I remember that they date back to creation. Just knowing that I’m not the only one to struggle with obedience to God, helps put it in perspective for me. I’m not saying that it’s ok because of that, but at least I know I’m not alone in the boat.
One of the things that God’s been working on in me is getting to know my neighbors. I know, I’m weird. I’ve blogged about it before and here we are again, but I feel that God has been pushing me to get out of my comfort zone and meet them, get to know them, and help them if they need it.
Saturday, I was walking around my neighborhood and I came upon a couple that I’ve seen walking together before. They’re older than my parents and they are adorable. They walk, holding hands, nice and slow around a couple of the same blocks that I walk. As I was coming up on them at a much faster pace than they were walking, I tried to decide if I should cross the street so I don’t startle them (or appear to be a creeper). That isn’t very practical in the area where I was going to pass and I knew they already saw me coming so I didn’t want to appear entirely unsociable.. so I just swing out a couple more feet to pass them and shuffled my feet a little more than usual so they hear me. (I’m such a dork sometimes) As I was passing, the husband heard my shuffling and nods at me. I say, “good morning”, they respond and we visit for about 1/2 block as they were almost back to their house. I wish them a good day and continue on my walk.
I keep making my loops and wind up on their street again after another mile or so. I wave as I go by and loop the next street but it keeps coming back to me that I didn’t tell them my name or ask theirs. So, on the next loop, I go on up in their driveway where the wife is sitting in the shade and enjoying the early morning air. I introduced myself and she of course invites me to sit and offers me a drink. We talked and got to know each other over the next 1/2 hour. We visited about our neighbors, kids, family, yards, flowers, storm cellars, health problems, and who knows what else, and it felt like we were old friends.
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. ~ Galatians 5:22-23 MSG
I’m so glad that I followed the prodding in my mind to “go meet your neighbors”. You may think it’s a crazy way to be obedient to God but I’m a pretty private person. I used to be so shy that I didn’t even talk to people who I’m related to, so for me to go talk to some complete strangers that live a street over from me, that is way out of my comfort zone. I feel like I’m one step closer to my Mayberry.
Oh, and wouldn’t you know that my neighbor, my new friend… her name is Faith.