I found myself in new terrain this week, not sure if my Lenten daily walks were going to happen. I was in a city this week instead of the oak forests of Toledo. Because my schedule was different, I'd have to walk in the early morning instead of at my favorite time, which is the evening.
All the days started the same, with a strong cup of coffee. But I lacked the usual enthusiasm for my walk and where it would take me.
Most days, I was tempted to skip the walk and have another cup of coffee. I wondered, Would I feel guilty if I didn’t walk? Maybe. But let’s face it: coffee can be a powerful antidote to guilt.
Then I started to think about my faithfulness to the journey thus far. I have walked every day this Lent—in snow, rain, bitter cold, warm sunshine. I have walked in parks, airports, city streets, and malls. All have been occasions of prayer and reflection.
I feel like God is walking on the journey with me, every step of the way. So why would I not want to go for my daily walk?! In the end, I resisted temptation and went for a walk every day. I realized that my Lenten practice this week wasn’t just about walking. It was about self-discipline and fasting from temptation.
The week also offered a sort of Divine encouragement. The other morning, I was about five minutes into my walk. I was thinking about how great it would have felt to stay in bed and sleep more. Or to get some extra work done. Or to do anything except walk in the early morning.
Then I had to cross a street that is crazy busy later in the day, but mercifully not busy in the morning. As I crossed, I saw the sign--an affirmation about not yielding to temptation! It made me laugh…and it made me glad that I was walking so early in the morning.
How was your Lent this week? How did you experience God's presence?