The Challenge of Walking


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Every day or two I look for a place and a time to take a walk. Walking is one of my favorite ways to get exercise. In the Midwest United States the weather can often determine if or when I make that happen. I say “make that happen” because I need to allot the time, make it a priority. That can be a challenge.



If the goal of the walk is aerobics, then I especially enjoy doing it with a friend who can challenge me to go a bit farther than I would otherwise do. But I also enjoy going for a walk alone. It is on those walks that my senses awaken. I notice the breeze, the temperature, and the path beneath my feet. The faint or pungent scents in the air become my companions, as do the sounds of birds, squirrels, or sometimes a dog. My eyes take in the signs of whatever season it may be. My mind allows all the sensory information to guide my thoughts and heart, to lead my spirit.

Monticello Walking Path



Lovely memories of certain paths are snapshots that warm my heart. The beautiful path that winds up the side of the mountain in Virginia that Monticello sits atop is one of those. In the spring redbuds and rhododendron are sentinels of the path. Nature changes the sentinels watching over the path each season. It is a path I savor as well because I walk it with one of my dearest friends who moved from Ohio some years ago.



In autumn my thoughts go to the walking path around Stowe, Vermont that I walked with my husband. Rustling leaves of every shade of

Fall in Stowe, Vermont

red, orange, yellow, and brown wave overhead and beside the path. A gurgling stream meanders along parts of the path. My eyes turn upward to the brilliant white church spires standing against the bluest of skies. What a stunning display God creates each autumn!



Of the many favorite paths I have walked, the one that heads the list is the path to Boom Lake in Alberta, Canada, near Lake Louise. On our first visit to the area, a waiter at our hotel told us about this path and arranged for the hotel’s chef to pack a lunch for us. It is not one of those hiking paths the average tourist discovers. The path to the lake takes about an hour or so. Between the towering trees along the path, the granite snowcapped mountain peaks are visible. Hidden treasures of wildflowers and occasional berries dot the path here and there.

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My husband and I have walked this path a number of times. A lunch at the edge of Boom Lake has been our reward for the first half of the hike. Sitting on the rocks beside the glacial lake creates a calm and rest that goes beyond weary feet. This path was where my husband told me the story of Lewis and Clark from Undaunted Courage that he was reading. His words and descriptions were so vivid that I could have been reading it.


Something about walking opens the senses and mind to explore ideas and possibilities while still remembering that very moment and other moments that came before. It fills us up and empties us at the same time.


When Paul challenges us to walk “in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called”, what is he asking of us? Is he asking us to open our minds, hearts, senses, and spirits to be in touch with the reality of our life in Christ, to reawaken ourselves to the grace in which we may revel? Such a challenge written by Paul from prison in Rome reminds us of our freedom. It reminds us we are to look, sound, and live like Christ.


What would that look like?


What impedes us on the walk?


Come with me to explore more about the challenge of walking in my next post.







23 thoughts on “The Challenge of Walking

  1. I especially love your fall path. Exercising at all is a challenge for me and I have to force myself to go but once there, I can walk for an hour on a treadmill. Give me my headset and some music (preferably old R&B love songs) and I can shut out all of my issues. I know that fall path would take away all of my stresses. Thanks for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I have shared on social media.

  2. Oh! We haven’t walked this trail to Boom Lake but will be looking it up in the near future. Lake Louise is a favorite destination for my husband and I on our tandem! We moved to this area not too long ago… Lovely photo! Walking is a wonderful gift–one of my very favorite things!

    1. Oh, how wonderful to have moved to that area!! When we vacationed there about 5 times, we stayed at The Post Hotel. That is where the waiter in the restaurant was that always gave us great advice on places to hike and what to see!

      1. Ha! We are pretty clueless about hotels and restaurants… we tend to be preoccupied munching energy bars and pedaling! Glad you’ve gotten to enjoy this area. It’s awesome for sure! We hope never to tire of the wonder even though it becomes familiar…

    1. Thanks, Ellen! We stayed at The Post Hotel when we were there and every time I turned my head in that area of Canada, the stunning beauty took my breath away.

  3. I enjoy running but I do love walking and taking in the beauty of nature. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with us at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. Have a beautiful day!

  4. I like walking for exercise and sanity, too. It’s interesting how ‘walking’ becomes a metaphor for living . . . as in, “talk the talk, and walk the walk.”

  5. I’m thinking it time soon to take a trip across the Alberta border to Vermont! I think I did Boom Lake 20 years ago as been a while since stopping and spending time in the Radium area. My scripture reading today was when John baptized Jesus. And what hit me was that John did not feel qualified yet it was his calling. And He was obedient to Jesus. John baptizing Jesus fulfilled a purpose. Doing our walk fulfills God’s purpose even when we don’t feel qualified. It made me realize even more the importance of walking humbling and in obedience! Imagine if John had shrunk back from his calling, refusing to baptize Jesus because he didn’t feel qualified?!

  6. It is a challenge to walk — both literally, as in get out the door and down the road with the dog, and spiritually as the noise around me pushes me to run frantically or to stand still in confusion. I’m looking forward to this series, Pam.

    1. Thanks, my friend! One of the challenges in the physical reality for me in the past few weeks has been the high temps and high humidity (not my friends or preference)🙂

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