Walking is sacred.
Imagine it. You place one foot in front of another, rhythmically making your way to nowhere in particular. To either side of the path before you, trees sway gently in the breeze, their leaves whispering calmly. Your mind is unchained from the cares of your day, and you are free.
What better time to get in touch with God?
Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:6-7, says that “We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight." Paul, in his wisdom, knew the power of walking—here, he uses it as a symbol for the manner in which we live, encouraging his audience to focus on the eternal rather than the temporary things of this world.
But walking in faith isn’t just a symbol. Our spiritual lives can benefit from a real, physical walk. Beyond the well-documented health and emotional benefits of walking, taking a stroll can be a spiritual reawakening, and might be just what you need to break through the barriers that exist between you and God.
But if you’re not quite convinced that a leisurely, aimless voyage is worth your time, here are a few reasons why walking in faith is one of the best things you can do for your spiritual life.
It Carries You Away From Distractions
We live in a busy world, made more so because of the advent of always-on connectivity. Where once, work was relegated to the workplace, now our phones deliver corporate emails. Electronic entertainment was once confined to the television, but we now carry an entire world’s worth of videos, music, and games in our pockets. We are always reachable, all of the time, and this becomes a constant, distracting burden, making it harder than ever to reach out to God in prayer or thought.
Why not temporarily walk away from it all?
Walking physically carries us away from the distractions that get between us and God—that’s huge. If you’ve been feeling stuck in your faith, like you just can’t quite “get there” in terms of trusting and regularly praying to God, adding a daily walk to your life might be just what you need to break through.
Your journey doesn’t have to be long. Even just thirty minutes of walking is both physically beneficial and spiritually rejuvenating. So turn off your phone and step out onto a path, sidewalk, or forest trail. You’ll escape the distractions and find the opportunity to finally speak with God.
It Gives You Time to Think
Do you know who you are? Do you know what you love, what our goals are, and what your overall purpose is?
If you’re having trouble answering these spiritually important questions, you might not be giving yourself time to think.
There’s not a lot of cultural support for simply doing nothing—we’re pushed to be productive in our every waking hour, producing and producing until we’re begrudgingly forced to sleep. But in the midst of constantly focusing on the external, we forget the internal. We forget ourselves. And when we lose touch with ourselves, we can’t know God’s plan for our lives.
Reflection and personal growth are vital to your spiritual health. You need time to reflect on who you really are—it is only when you examine your own strengths, weaknesses, and passions that you can learn what God’s will is for your life. After all, He gave you all of your attributes for a reason.
Walking gives you the space and solitude you need to reflect instead of produce. A trip down the block and back can do wonders in reconnecting you with yourself, and thus, to God’s plan for you.
It Connects You With Creation
Nature and spirituality are linked. Walking can improve your faith by reminding you of the grandeur of God’s creation.
Everything you see was made by God. His words, in the beginning, became matter, solidifying into the trees, the sky, the stars, and everything in between.
Getting out of the house and onto the trails can serve to remind you of this. When we’re trapped in the uninspiring steel and wood and particle board of our homes, vehicles, and businesses, we can forget the wonder and power of nature. Everything begins to seem mundane, and the presence of God’s creative might feels like a faraway dream.
But walk amongst the trees on a quiet evening, and that wonder will return. Watch the moon rise into a sky dotted with stars, and you’ll remember His power.
Walking is the perfect way to experience nature—it’s quiet, requires little effort, and gives us the time to truly notice instead of just looking.
So if you’re feeling disconnected from your spiritual life, reconnect with God’s creation s through walking. You’ll soon begin to feel the stirrings of childlike faith once again.
It Can Bring Unexpected Inspiration
Sometimes, it’s better to walk with no destination in mind, to just go where your feet take you. This can lead to unexpected inspiration.
Imagine seeing an old, dilapidated home and being struck by the concept of death, which spurs you on to pursue that dream you’ve been putting off. Imagine passing a beautiful flower pushing its way out of hot asphalt, marveling at the tenacity of life and coming home infused with a renewed zest for your own. Think of meeting a stranger who goes on to be your best friend or greatest love.
Aimless walks force you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown, where you might find opportunities we cannot imagine. And when you walk in prayer, in communication with God, those opportunities might just be straight from Him.
Don’t miss out on the power of walking to improve your spiritual life through unexpected discoveries. Walk somewhere you’ve never been, explore the unknown, and give God the chance to bring something new into your life.
A Walk of Faith
It’s not easy to take the time to go on a simple walk that produces no material gains. But knowing what you now do, challenge yourself. Set a small goal—say, fifteen minutes of walking every other day. Increase that amount until you’re satisfied.
Do this, and you'll reap the hidden spiritual benefits of one of the simplest activities you can do.
Now, go. Enjoy your walk.