When you consult a dictionary, the word “to walk” is commonly defined as to advance or travel on foot at a moderate speed or pace; to proceed by steps, to move by advancing the feet alternately so that there is always one foot on the ground in bipedal locomotion. The walker moves about or travels on foot for exercise or pleasure.
There are many benefits to walking outdoors.
Alanna Ketler, in a facebook post, wrote that “hiking is an excellent way to burn between 400 – 700 calories per hour, depending on your size and the hike difficulty, and it is easier on the joints than other activities like running.
It has also been proven that people who exercise outside are more likely to keep at it and stick to their programs, making hiking an excellent choice for those wishing to become more active on a regular basis.” She also cites a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which found that spending time in nature decreases obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.
Another study conducted by psychologists Atchley and Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature.
The researchers of this study noted that both technology and urban noise are incredibly disruptive, constantly demanding our attention and preventing us from focusing, all of which can be taxing to our cognitive functions.
A nice long hike can reduce mental fatigue, soothe the mind, and boost creative thinking.
Maybe that’s what God wanted His people to learn, and so He modeled walking for them. According to the NIV of Gen.3:8, God “was walking in the garden in the cool of the day”. The Message translation paints this relaxed picture of “God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze”.
It’s a beautiful image: evidently the supernatural God is connecting with His natural creation, enjoying it, and wanting to have fellowship with mankind whom He had put into that garden. And so He walks in the garden at a leisurely pace, one step at a time, taking in the multifaceted sensations of this nature hike. There is activity, but no rush. There is a designed environment, yet it’s not lifeless concrete structures that dominate the scenery, but a luscious garden. There is no oppressive heat or stagnant air, but a fresh, cool breeze that just invites deep, refreshing breathing. It is more than just a physical experience: it’s spiritual breathing, communion with God, that is encouraged through this picture. (The Hebrew word that the NIV translated as the “cool of the day” and the Message as “evening breeze” is actually the word ruach, which can be translated as wind, breath or spirit).
God created us with legs so we would have ambulatory capacities and be able to amble. And that’s something you are encouraged to do at Kingfisher Crossing: walk the trails, explore nature, breath in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of the forest, observe the majestic white pines swaying in the wind, track an ant carrying a cocoon, taste a few blueberries, smell the distinct scent of tree resin, feel the refreshment as you splash water from the lake on your face and enjoy communion with the One who created it all.
That’s why walking can be so wonderful, even worshipful: it can turn into a whole lifestyle of walking with God as the subsequent chapters in Genesis underline. For example, in Gen.5:24 (NIV) we read that “Enoch walked faithfully with God.” The Voice Translation puts it this way: “Enoch had … a close and intimate relationship with God.” A similar thing is said about Noah in Gen.6:9 (NIV) “he walked faithfully with God.” The NLT shows this lifestyle choice even better: “he walked in close fellowship with God.”
When we habitually walk a certain path it becomes a way of life. The book of Psalms underlines the choice we have: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked” (Ps.1:1). But: “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.” (Ps.128:1). And Jeremiah records God’s words in Jer.6:16 (NIV): “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
By walking with God, the weary and heavy-laden experience true inner peace.
Eugene Peterson gives us the essence of this kind of a lifestyle by translating Mt.11:28 this way: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -- Make sure you take that kind of a hike!
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.