Meet God, life on the pedestrian scale | Worship
Like almost everyone I know, I live in a world of modern convenience.
In this magical world, I can receive nourishment from packages and bottles where my food has been prepared for me ahead of time. I can bathe in a tile-lined box where, at the touch of my hand, water is delivered at any temperature I desire.
I can get into my car at home, move through streets 10 to 20 times faster than I can walk, and arrived at my local destination having been outside for only a few steps.
Or, if I choose, I can sit comfortably in a large metal tube and travel several thousand miles across the country in less than a day.
The list goes on and on, and would certainly have to include all of the contemporary electronic devices that make even getting out of a chair at all unnecessary.
As a result of this life of convenience that we all live, we move across our world very fast. Our relationship with the world gets more complex. We only see things from a distance. Easily lost is any encounter with the pedestrian scale. And that is unfortunate.
The ancient biblical account of God carefully and lovingly creating all things suggests that interaction at the pedestrian scale – one-on-one, face-to-face – was the way things were intended to be.
God is characterized as “walking through the garden in the evening” (Genesis 3:8) as a way of checking in with the created world.
Simply put, meeting the world by walking through it can put us in touch with the presence of God in surprising ways.
Almost every morning and early evening, for the past six years, I clip a leash to our family dog Chester’s collar and stroll through the neighborhood where we live.
Chester insists on it. He needs these walks to stay physically and mentally healthy. More and more, however, I am realizing that I need these walks as well.
I connect with the animals and plants, neighbors and strangers that inhabit my world in ways that I would otherwise not.
The tips of the maple leaves are already a bit yellow. The blackberries are turning dark and plump. There is a new poodle on the next street over.
Alison saw a large coyote cutting through her backyard yesterday. Fred’s daughter is off to college in Montana on Friday.
And the idea for this column came to me on this morning’s walk. Who knew?
As August rolls into September, and summer rolls into fall, we would do best to give deliberate attention to meeting the divine at this slower, simpler and more intimate level.
Life at the pedestrian scale is who we are. It is built right into the core of our being.
The evening walk blesses. The morning walk blesses. Nature blesses. Up-close-and-personal blesses. Kinetic energy blesses. Gentle touch blesses. Casual conversation blesses.
What used to come naturally now takes some effort. Get out there and meet God at the pedestrian scale.
Jim Kruse is an interim pastor for the Trinity Lutheran Church at Pointe of Grace.