Would You Walk To Church?
The question has nothing to do with religion or standing in judgment of your faith, whatever you choose it to be. It's a statement that spurns thoughts of what exactly we have committed ourselves to with such passion and loyalty, that we would go to whatever lengths possible to make them happen.
This is a question that we cope with every single day without the forethought or patience to even recognize it's happening. Every single decision we make is based on our own strengths and weaknesses battling it out milliseconds before we make a choice. What are we committed to so strongly that we will not allow the daily obstacles to distract us from that destination?
For most people in general, church is either a mainstay in their weekly scheduling ritual, or it is merely an option on Sundays or Wednesdays, or Tuesdays or Saturdays. Like most things in our lives, it is either a priority or it's not. I test myself daily by constantly searching for my walk for opportunity and inspiration. My hope always is the fact I do not want to ever be accused of "not paying attention."
Sunday morning June 2 on my drive into work, I saw John Hamilton walking north down Loop 323 at Hwy 155 in a suit carrying a book. I see him walking around different areas of Tyler as John does not drive and never complains when I have picked him up on occasion and have taken him wherever he needs to be.
John and I met at a Special Olympics Swim meet back in 1992 and he has always made himself available anytime assistance is required. Providing music for ARC of Smith County Fun Lovers dances since 91, I only get to see John 7 or 8 times a year outside of the occasional personal Uber service he receives.
He was wearing a suit and tie and as he got comfortable in the front seat, the worn out white leather bible he was carrying slid down his lap and into the floorboard. There are times you can feel in your gut that something great is right in front of you if you will just give it a minute.
"Are you walking to church this morning John," I asked. "Yes sir," he replied.
"Where do you go," I asked. "It's up here, you turn at the green sign," John continued, "I'll tell you where to go."
Being 6:30 in the morning, it befuddled me that his church provided such an early service. Following the 2 plus mile drive before the green McCoy's Lumber sign turnoff, his early departure started to make sense.
I pulled into the parking lot at Greater Shiloh Baptist Church and for some reason, glanced at the radio clock in my Ford truck to see 6:38 a.m. I immediately paused as John was unbuckling his seat belt and extending a grateful handshake, and a flash thought of "is there anything in my world that I am so committed to that I would walk 3 miles to achieve on a weekly basis?"
John thanked me at least 6 times before and after the handshake, closed the door, and walked around the front of the truck before I realized there was no one anywhere around the church. The parking lot was empty, the church was locked and there was not a single person as far as I could see. John walked to the steps of the "old church building" and just sat down and opened his bible.
"John," I shouted from the driver's window, "the sign says your service doesn't start till 11:00!" John Hamilton looked up from the Good Book, glanced back from those steps and replied, "I know."
During this week of solace and inspiration from the lives lost and heroes born of D-Day, please take a moment and ask yourself what a 3-mile walk is worth to you. If you need some help getting there, take a walk with John. Incidentally, there are 133 verses of scripture in the New Testament Book of John.