I had a wonderful eight mile walk with a dear friend this morning. Actually, Rita is more than a friend; she’s family. We both agreed that we would not have ventured up the mountainside alone in the near freezing weather, but we also agreed that it was great to be walking. The lesson was clear as I came down the mountain feeling great and ready for whatever God had in store. Walking in God’s kingdom is best with company because fellowship is an essential part of the journey. I’ve learned over the past few years to let down my guard and let others hear my heart, and I’ve found some great traveling companions in the process.
Traveling companions are special because traveling together requires a level of trust and friendship that goes well beyond a casual acquaintance. I must be willing to let others be a part of my life and be part of theirs. Kingdom relationships involve listening, loving deeply, and spending lots of time together. Living and loving together requires commitment, and that’s just the word Rita used this morning. She said, “We’re committed, and she’s right.” We walk about twenty miles a week, but it isn’t about exercising or clocking time and distance. It’s about taking the time to be together in a powerful way. We love one another, and that makes the journey a joy. Two hours pass quickly as we talk and enjoy the beauty around us. On Friday morning, we came upon a young deer. It stood for a long while gazing at us curiously. It would have stayed longer if a jogger hadn’t broken the sweet silence.
Kingdom living is about being committed and taking time for God and one another. It means hearing the hurt, sharing the joy, and trusting God and each other. It’s about non judgment, being my truest self, and allowing others to be the same. Love doesn’t judge or fix, and love is all I need to pack for the journey that leads me to His kingdom. Deciding not to judge is dying to self and allowing God to be God, and it’s a daily decision. Some days, I do a wonderful job and get in a beautiful walk in His kingdom; but some days, I worry, fret. and fuss and get stuck in my muddy mess. As long as I’m on earth, I will have to die in order to walk in God’s kingdom. Dying to self isn’t easy, but I’m finding that it’s much easier than striving, struggling, and digging out of the mud.
Walking in God’s kingdom is a witness walk, not a judgment trudge. Like my morning hikes with Rita, a walk in God’s kingdom is a beautiful commitment to travel together in a way that draws us nearer to God and one another. It also helps that we make sure not to fall into the sin of seriousness along the way =]