Walking with Christ into Eternity

 
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When I worked for my dad, he often made me walk with him to our family dental lab. A two mile distance, our morning walks were always filled with his thoughts on church, dentistry, marriage, weight loss, etc. A lot of times, I’d tune him out. Gradually though, I started to see the similarities in our thinking processes, speaking patterns, walking styles. I came to see him as a real person, not just "dad”: someone worthy of respect, someone with real depth, pains, failures, victories, and hopes. Nowadays, those walks are some of the clearest memories I have of those years.

When we walk with others, whether on trails, piers, or malls, it is more than mere activity. Our walks are explorations of one another. What makes her laugh? Does he walk fast or relaxed? Consciously or not, as we banter and wander together, we begin to map not only our present paths, but our past journeys. And the more two friends walk together, the more they grow together. They appreciate and cherish the other person better. It is the same with Jesus.

Life can be imagined as one long walk with Christ to eternity. In Genesis, God commends Abraham, Enoch, and Noah for walking with Him. Jesus called his first disciples while walking along the sea. After His resurrection, He walked to Emmaus while conversing with two men. The Bible calls us to “walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7), “walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8), and “walk by the Spirit.” (Gal 5:16)

God wants to walk with us. He likes to spend time with us, to do things with us. We are His “great delight!” (Zeph. 3:17) Along the way to heaven, we will encounter snakes, robbers, pitfalls, and stinging barbs. We may be laughed at and mocked for embarking on this arduous, narrow journey. But the man or woman who walks with Christ day by day? This person has learned the secret of eternity. If we want to know Jesus, we must walk with Jesus. But what does it mean to walk with Him in our daily lives? Personally, I’ve found these steps to be helpful:

Slowly get to know Him: How do you know who you're walking with? How do you figure which paths God likes to take? You have to talk with Him. You have to study His thoughts and opinions. And this takes real time and attention. This takes intentional scheduling and planning as well as spur-of-the-moment romanticism. We must develop habits of reading the Bible and praying deeply so we can drink from God deeply. Just as a steak can't be microwaved or scarfed down for full enjoyment, we cannot quick-start a friendship with Jesus. Take your time.

Be transparent with Him: Whether in the prayer closet or your journal, share all your thoughts and emotions with Him in all their sinfulness, conflicts, and uncertainties. We practice and develop trust by speaking honestly with Him, then witnessing His grace and power over us. Transparent prayers give space for God to restore, heal, encourage, and correct us. Transparent prayers honor Jesus as our true dependence and our closest friend. Doubts and fears dim as we learn more personally of His faithfulness, dependability, and authority. Unveil yourself to Christ, and He will honor it. (Side note: also practice wise transparency with fellow Christians for accountability and fellowship)

Do things you enjoy with Him: Do you like writing? Write poems, blogs, or short stories with Him. Do you like swimming? Swim prayerfully. Draw Christ-inspired artwork. Write lines of code with gratefulness towards Christ. Solve math equations, brew coffee, crack jokes for the sake of Christ. And why not: bring a friend! A walk is more than moving your feet - you behold the trees, you smell the flowers, you hear the leaves rustling, you feel the heat of the Sun. While we dare not idolize our hobbies, we ought to place Christ as the destination and center of the things and activities we love. The Christian life isn't just one of tears and wails - it is one to spend joyfully with Him.

Remember He enjoys you: The real reason I fondly look back on my walks with my dad is because I finally realized this: he only walked with me because he liked hanging out with me. I was often impatient, prideful, and insecure towards my father, but he still liked me enough to spend his morning commutes with just me. As this truth dawned upon me, it greatly increased my affection and appreciation for my dad. When we really get to know God, it is the same way. We are the apple of His eye. (Ps. 17:8; Zech. 2:8) His love is everlasting. (Jer. 31:3) And His love produces a responsive love within us. (1 Jn. 4:19) His love fills us with the Holy Spirit, joy, and peace. (Rom. 15:13) Preach these truths to yourself when you feel it hard to continue walking.

So walk two miles with Jesus, friends. Let His glory and love be an everyday experience, not simply a Sunday service or revival event. It is grace that we can walk with Christ every day.

At dawn, green leaves pulsate across the path,

Swayed by zephyrs’ breaths, and behind

The bricks of the spire,

A simple man stops, and in that second

Glory unveils Himself:

Vines trembling on the tower’s wall, leaves dropping

To the pitch of a viol, brown seeds

Bursting in the dirt, their shells budding into sweet song,

The rich melody freeing the soul, the roots digging inward deep,

The ballad now blooming within him, speaking of rest,

Speaking of our longing for the Love

That births new life and splits great seas and lights our mornings green.

And for all this, we walk.


Daniel Lee is currently a dental student at UCLA School of Dentistry. He loves what-if scenarios, short stories, one-on-one conversations, crown preps, and people who feel free to be themselves. He openly dreams of becoming the first dentist, minister, rapper, and comedian combo for Jesus. Special thanks to Samuel Lee, his biological and spiritual father, for loving God, for loving dental missions, and for loving his wife and sons the best he can. Shout out to Mimi and David too.

 
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