10,000 steps—that’s what the medical community says we sedentary Americans need to do every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They recognize the difficulty most of us have in finding time to get to the gym or the health club two or three times a week. They’re telling us we don’t need to do that—we just need to add some more steps to whatever it is we’re already doing each day. We need to take the stairs instead of the elevator, forget about finding the parking space two steps from the door, walk around the neighborhood, do your shopping at Wal(k)-Mart or some other big store that will help you reach your Target.
Scripture uses the word walk as a figure for living the Christian life. It makes sense if you think about it; walking is something we do each day, we do it at our own pace, and it involves progress. We are to walk in the light (1 John 1:7), walk in love (2 John 6), walk humbly (Micah 6:8), and not walk in the counsel of the wicked (Psalm 1:1).
Whether it is walking for health or walking for Christ, certain things are true:
1. Both are the result of choice, not chance. Have you tried walking 10,000 steps? Buy a pedometer for a few dollars and see what constitutes 10,000 steps—it will surprise you! It’s a good bit more than what most of us do in our daily routine. Therefore, 10,000 steps a day won’t just “happen,” there has to be purpose. That same thing is true of our walk with Christ. It doesn’t just happen, there has to be purpose and effort involved (2 Peter 1:5ff).
2. Both are simple. In terms of what to do, neither are difficult. To achieve 10,000 steps about all you need to do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The same thing is true (to a lesser degree), with our walk of faith. While some of our struggles are related to not being certain of the right thing to do, most of them are not. Most of the challenges we face are about doing what we know to be right (Luke 10:25-29).
3. Both require the steady rather than the spectacular. Spectacular may grab the headlines, but steady is what gets the job done. The walls of Jericho fell not because of any spectacular deed, but because the people of God trusted God enough to put one foot in front of the other for seven days. Naaman found cleansing not through any spectacular action on the part of Elisha, but because he decided to comply with the simple instructions God had given. Consistency builds both character and faith. Remember, “The longest journey begins with a single step.”
Keep walking and keep healthy. This is a message for life!