How to Walk
“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.” 1 Thess. 4:1-2
Watch a baby learn to walk. It’s anything but graceful. It comes in fits and spurts, doesn’t it. First the baby relies totally on adults. Then it begins to notice the world. It learns to crawl. Next comes walking – wobbly step by wobbly step, and plenty of falls. More falls than walking. Then more walking – and some falls. Somewhere along the way, a loving hand reaches out to assist. Slowly, the hand is drawn back. The baby no longer needs the hand. The baby needs to practice walking on its own, falls and all. Confidence comes. The falls are fewer. One day, that baby is a toddler. Eventually, an adult. What once was wobbly walking becomes skipping then running then racing and sports and dancing and life with all its many steps. Long gone are the days of crawling and learning to walk – until. Until for many the hand of a now adult who walks without falling reaches out to hold the chubby fingers of a baby learning to walk. Then, much later, for some, the gnarled, arthritic hands of one who learned how to walk so long ago, who has walked many steps through this world, grasps hard the gentle, loving hand of one younger who extends a helping hand. Across the world, hands of different ages reach out to bridge the distance between birth and death as we at our different ages walk through our lives.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, Paul speaks of how he and the other ministers of God have helped others to learn “to walk and please God.” He speaks of the walk of life, and, more specifically, the walk of faith through this life. We do not learn to walk so we can rush through our lives and leave everyone else behind. We are all in this life together. We who are learning to walk by faith by studying and applying the Bible to our lives, who have so blessedly profited from the hearts and extended hands of those who have learned to walk and please God before we have, have a responsibility to reach out our hearts and hands to those who are just now learning to walk themselves. Living by faith in Christ is not a race to the finish line. It is a beautiful, challenging, walk of life during which like Paul speaks of, we learn to “abound more and more” in walking and pleasing God – ever mindful of those who have come before us, of those who walk beside us, and those who follow after. Together, we all as one in Christ follow after the greatest heart and hand of all – the heart and hand of the Lord who leads those who follow Him forward in our walk to eternity with Him.
We were not created to walk alone, but to walk with Him and our fellows.