A girlfriend I’d been wanting to know better called and asked if I’d like to get together and go for a walk.
Alarms went off in my head. Meet for coffee? Sure. Go out for lunch? Yes! Walk? Umm, no.
“Walk?” I asked suspiciously.
“Sure! Walk and talk,” she replied cheerfully.
This is not a good idea, I thought.
Ahead: New Experiences
I hadn’t exercised in a long time. I don’t own yoga pants or exercise clothes. The closest thing to a walking shoe I own is a pair of Reeboks I bought for an aerobics class I never went to in 1988.
But I really liked this woman and wanted to spend the time with her. It’s just walking, I figured.
Surely I can try something new. I can walk!
Just to clarify, I asked, “Where would we walk?” I looked hopefully out the window as we chatted, willing thunderstorms to come rolling in, but, alas, clear skies.
“How about we walk around Reeds Lake?” she said.
Reeds Lake is a small body of water in the center of Grand Rapids. I only knew that because one of my favorite eateries was settled on its shoreline. Maybe I could divert her inside.
Another long pause on my part. Finally, “How far around is that?”
“Just 4.15 miles.”
The fact that my friend knew it was exactly 4 point 15 miles should have tipped me off that her pace was going to be challenging. “We’ll go slowly, and if you get tired, we’ll stop,” she said, as if reading my mind.
“Okay, sounds fun,” I lied. I put on a pair of gray sweatpants that were actually old pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, laced up my venerable shoes, and set off to meet my girlfriend.
Good for you
At the designated parking lot, skinny women in spandex and ponytails trotted by. Nothing on them jiggled.
I rolled my eyes.
What was I thinking?
My friend spotted me and waved.
It was too late to call in sick or retreat.
We walked and talked and walked and walked and walked.
At the three-mile mark, I seriously considered hitchhiking back to my car, but I had to admit that it felt good to be out in the fresh air doing something new.
It was delightful to hear what was happening and exciting in my new friend’s life.
If my muscles don’t seize up by tomorrow, I might just try it again.
Your invitation is waiting
How about you? Is God inviting you into something new? A new experience or new friendship?
This week, go for it and see where it takes you!
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”—Hebrews 10:24–25
Father, I ask you to gently lead me into my future. Lead me toward great friendships and new experiences. Protect me from ruts and rituals that prevent new growth and that keep me from the rich life you offer. Amen.