Straightening out my walk

Jason A. Smith


God really knows how to get me thinking about what I’m doing with my life.

I wasn’t looking for it at the time, but He had other ideas. He even used my mother to help teach me one of my more recent lessons, which was sorely needed.

As I mentioned in a recent column, I had the opportunity to stay with Mama for the weekend while my wife and daughter went camping. Mama and I had a great time together, and she spoiled me rotten the whole time with food and memories that reminded me of my younger years.

Mama worries about me, as well as my brother and sister. While I was at her house, my mother noticed that my right shoe appeared more worn out than my left, because of the way I was walking. Apparently, I favor my right leg a bit, resulting in my walking off-balance – or, as my mom put it, “crooked.”

I had never noticed this. It’s only been a year or so since I bought those shoes, and I wasn’t having any problems with them as far as I could tell.

That being said, I do have a tendency to roll my ankle sometimes when I walk. But, I just figured that was a result of being clumsy all my life.

At any rate, I took my mom’s caution under advisement that Sunday when I left her house and headed to church. During the sermon, my pastor started talking about the Christian walk. My mind immediately went back to what Mama had told me about my “crooked” walk, and I started thinking about whether my walk with God could be considered crooked as well.

After the service, I made a beeline for my pastor and explained the conversation I had with Mama that morning. I asked him for a few Bible verses that address a crooked spiritual walk. One that he referred me to was Proverbs 28:6, which says, “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” (ESV)

I started thinking about whether the way I walk physically could be a picture of the way I walk spiritually – fine enough to the untrained eye, but causing damage over time because of things I do in life without thinking about them.

This topic remained in the back of my mind over the next few days. By this time, I knew I wanted to write a column about it.

That decision was confirmed a few nights later, as I was reading through the book of Psalms. I was struck, in particular, by Psalm 84:11: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

On one hand, I was comforted by the reminder that God rewards those who strive to walk with Him in everything they do.

On the other, I started thinking about the last part of that verse, and what it means for those who don’t “walk uprightly.” Could God be withholding certain good things from me because of the way I live my life? Am I holding onto certain elements of my life that are causing me to miss out on His blessings?

I know I need to make some changes, in both my physical walk and my spiritual walk. Physically, I should pay more attention to that right leg of mine, making more of an effort to walk straighter so I don’t fall over quite so much.

Spiritually, I should be more mindful of my words, thoughts and actions on a daily basis. I should also seek His will in all I do if I want my life to point others to God and glorify Him.

Jason has worked in newspapers since 2005, spending the majority of that time in Henry County. He lives in Covington with his wife and daughter.