For years I’ve thought of myself as a runner—sometimes slow, often inconsistent, but a runner nonetheless. Recently, as the years have crept along, I find myself heading out for a walk more often than a run. My daily walk has become a non-negotiable, needed not only for physical health benefits but for my mental and spiritual health as well. While I walk, I sort out the problems of my day, both trivial and consequential. I ponder writing and work assignments, but mostly use the time to simply be in the present, a meditation of sorts.
Our psalmist knows the value of walking, the common transpor-
tation mode of that day. Unless you were wealthy enough to own an
animal or a wagon, you traveled on foot. To get wherever they were
going, most people simply walked.
Different translations describe the walking within this psalm in various ways. Verse 45 in the NRSV reads I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts. The NIV translates the opening phrase, I will walk about in freedom, while the ESV offers, I shall walk in a wide place.
After a recent move, I’m searching out new walking paths. I live
in an area where I can simply lace up my sneakers and head out the
door; however, I’m finding that some nearby streets are not walkable,
with busy traffic and no sidewalks. The sidewalks on some other
streets simply end, forcing me to turn around, walk back, and try a
The psalmist’s image of walking freely is worth pondering. Where
have you found solid grounding for your faith and sure footing for
your journey? What does walking in freedom mean to you? Where
are the places wide enough for your hopes to find traction?
How does your trust in God affect your walk with God? What new routes has your trust in God led you to take?
God, help us to walk with you freely, grounding ourselves in the wideness of your mercy and love and sharing this walk with others. Amen.