"Walk, don’t run!"
Like a broken record, I stood in the church narthex, repeating, "Walk, don’t run", as my lips and motioning hands cautioned running Vacation Bible Schoolers to slow down as they entered the church.
I noted some of the more hyperactive children zooming off the church van and thought how I’d probably be warning them to “walk, not run" when they visited me later at the crafts station. Chances are, they’ll also rush through their crafts while others take their time, doing a better job.
Walk don’t run….. My mind traveled back in time, twenty-five years ago…. when my husband first started jogging and running marathons. He’d begged me to join him, but back then exercise was about as appealing as a trip to the dentist. Today, even he has traded his running shoes in for a stationary bike due to a running injury. Yep, if he‘d only listened to me earlier…"Walk, don‘t run…".
At 56, I can’t imagine running (much less marathons), but have committed to walking. So far I’ve lived up to my new year’s resolution, walking 30 minutes daily. On Fridays, I meet my friend at the mall where we walk, chat, and pray. We socialize, share prayer concerns, and burn calories---all at the same time. If we ran, we couldn’t chat and pray. Yep, walking is better than running.
I headed down to the crafts station and got ready for the kids who’d soon be arriving.
…Hmmm…better throw in an added activity for the wired ones who rush through their crafts and then sit bored, getting into trouble…Why can’t they just "walk and not run…?"
Soon thirty wide-eyed youngsters were dashing toward me as I repeated, "walk ,don’t run.”
"All little eyes on me,” I began…"We’ll be coloring stained glass windows today." I explained showing them how they should take their time and fill in each little “pane” with colored markers….
One minute later…
"Teeee….cher! I’m done!…" A snaggle-toothed little boy bolted out of his seat, flashing his scribbled "masterpiece."
This is Vacation Bible School (not the public schools where I substitute during the school year), so I didn’t tell him to go back and do a better job. Instead, I gave him a God-felt bear hug, handing him a coloring book of Bible stories that I’d brought from home to keep early-finishers busy…and glued to their seat….But I did tell him to “slow down” (to walk, don’t run) this time.
Six more groups of kids came and went, as I continued to say, “walk, don’t run.”
As the day ended, I drove home, hoarse from pleading,” walk don’t run" all day. Later I crashed in my recliner to eat dinner and relax. But clicking on the evening news, I couldn’t unwind as I saw the drama of a dreadful war unfold in the Middle East. Scribbling on a napkin, I penned….
While listening to the evening news
My heart is pierced with fear.
As images of war parade,
I shake and shed a tear.
I ask, "O Lord, "Is this the end?
Some say it’s World War Three.
Please rescue all our people there
So they’ll be safe and free.”
Reports of blasts and deadly bombs
Right in my Savior’s town,
The sacred town of Nazareth---
They’re pounding to the ground.
Then remembered, I haven’t prayed today…. Or even checked my e-mail …
Powering up my laptop on my left, I reached for my bible on my right. Then rattled off prayers…..My thoughts shifted to the war in the Middle East. My mind wasn’t focused. Inside, I was trembling, afraid of the future.
Is this the end? Will we even get to move and retire as planned? We‘ve already lost thousands in the stock market…And, then…there‘s the escalating cost of gas…At $3.19 a gallon, we can’t afford a vacation…
“You’ve got mail!" My AOL mailbox broke into my prayers and thoughts.
"Amen,” I said, wrapping up my so-called prayer time.
Turning to my laptop, I groaned, “Spam, spam, spam..….delete, delete, delete….”
Then I heard that still small voice ….
You’ve got mail!….
Deep in my spirit I heard….
My child, slow down, I speak to you,
This letter’s from above
I’ve seen your tears and know your fears---
Relax, now in my love.
No matter what you see and hear
There’s nothing you should fear.
So please slow down and walk with me
You’ll find that I am near.”
Walk, don’t run.
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