The campus was small so you parked and walked everywhere. Few knew the extent of my vision problems back then. I had learned to watch people move, and usually recognized them across campus by their walks.
I did not realize exactly how distinctive a walk could be until I met Keith. I still can’t quite figure it out. He keeps the top portion of his body completely still and swings his legs from the hips, at least that is the best way I can describe it. Whatever it is, I recognized him from a farther distance than I ever had anyone before. He says it has something to do with growing up on the side of a mountain. I have seen that mountain and the remains of that old house, and it brings to mind the old joke about cows in the mountains having legs of different lengths.
I wonder how people in the world recognize us. Could it be that our walk gives us away?
John tells us that as followers of Christ, we ought to walk even as He walked, 1 John 2:6, and that would certainly make people notice. If they don’t, then are we really behaving as we ought? If we use the same language, engage in the same activities, dress the same way, and react in the same way as the rest of the world, who exactly are we walking like? Sounds like the rest of the world to me.
People in the neighborhood, in the office, in the school, in the grocery store or doctor’s office should all be able to see a difference in how we behave and how the rest of the world behaves. Yet it is not just a matter of being “different.” They should know what that difference means. They should be able to recognize the walk!
It is not enough to just follow His footsteps—a lot of people do that with little or no thought. It keeps them out of trouble, it keeps them in good standing with the elders, it satisfies them that they have fulfilled the commandments. But a child can stand in one of his father’s footprints and then jump to the next without making a new impression in the sand. Is he really walking like his father walks?
What really needs to happen is the full body awareness, swinging your arms the same way, holding your head the same way, lifting your feet and setting them down the same way—everything exactly the same because now Christ lives in you. You have reached a point where you no longer need to struggle to leap from footprint to footprint in order to stay on track. Your walk actually fits into His.
How are you walking this morning? Is it a recognizable walk? And exactly how would a stranger describe it? If you are walking as He did, there should be no question about it.
If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin, 1 John 1:6,7.