Monday Morning Music Ministry

Start Your Week with a Spiritual Song in Your Heart

I Keep On Walking

1-14-13

We all walk along pathways, sometimes smooth, sometimes rocky – inevitably smooth AND rocky – and, taken together, the pathways are called Life. How we walk or run, how we deal with obstacles on the pathway, and our companions we choose or choose us, all define the journey. Today’s guest message is by my daughter Heather Shaw, sharing profound thoughts about her walk. —

I have been on this path for as long as I can remember – sometimes walking, sometimes running, but always moving forward.

Step, step, step.

For years the path was relatively easy. There had been some unexpected twists and bumps, as well as some detours, that had frustrated me. But overall there wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, and it had been a pleasant path to be on.

After a long, rocky, twisty stretch, the path suddenly turned a corner and in front of me was a smooth, straight path. All around there were signs of springtime. It was a welcome sight after the last twists and turns, and I breathed a sigh of relief. It didn’t happen often to have this kind of an easy path, and I was filled with joy. I ran along happily, excited about all the sights I could see down the way. I couldn’t wait to get to those milestones, and dreamt about what it would be like when I would arrive.

Step, step, step.

Suddenly, without warning, Darkness descended and violently shoved me off my path and onto another path. This new path was not at all like the last path or any I had been on before. I’d done rocky paths before, but this one was covered by sharp, jagged boulders that I had to climb over or around. It was messy – muddy and covered by debris. As I regained my balance and started to move forward again, I realized that I had been severely injured when I had been shoved. I looked down at my legs and saw that both were mangled. Stopping was not an option. I had to keep moving forward on this messy, new path.

Step… step… step…

As I limped forward, I began to hear voices from others who were calling out while traveling on their paths:

“Don’t worry! That must have been the plan for you! It will all turn out good!” Good? I wondered. Darkness shoved me. Does Darkness ever have a good plan?

“You’re strong – you must have been chosen to travel your path since you can handle it!” Huh, I think. Sounds like a rotten gift.

“At least you still have your arms!” Someone yelled out. I wonder how in the world that is helpful as I limp along. I liked my legs. They were different from my arms and very much a part of me.

I nodded my head as each voice spoke. I understand. They try to make sense of what happened to me. I wished they would be quiet; they were hurting me more.

Some others ran up closer, rather than calling from a distance. They briefly came near and said, “Wow. That’s a hard path you’re on. You’re doing great!” and then quickly ran back to the safety of their own path. Again I nodded. I understand. They care for me, but don’t know what to do and are possibly scared that the same thing could happen to them.

Some who traveled my path returned again to tell me that it will be OK – there are some spots up ahead that will be better than where I am now. They said that I would slowly learn to walk better and the pain will lessen… but the limp will remain until the end of my path. These people are brave, to have gone back to places they had already struggled through, to encourage me. I admire them.

And then there were those voices I heard through the fog, calling out, “I’m here! I don’t know what to do or how to help, but I’m here, my friend.” And instead of running back to the safety of their paths, they rearrange their paths to be close to mine. They are getting messy right along with me.

Step… step… step…

People ask how I’m doing. They listen to me ramble on about how unfair it is or how in pain I am. They listen to me talk about my old path and how I miss it and what it would be like if I were still on it. They understand if I need to be silent. They let me cry. They don’t try to make up answers to the whys. They spend time with me just being friends. I can see on their faces that being close to my path sometimes makes them uncomfortable, but yet they stay close. They stay right by me, urging me to keep going. To do one more step, and then another, and then another.

Step… step… step…

And then there’s one more Friend. He doesn’t just walk near me – I feel His arm always around me. I don’t – or can’t – hear Him say much other than “I’m here.” I yell at this Friend often: Did He shove me off the path? Was this His idea to bring me, injured, to this muddy, boulder-filled path? Why didn’t He stop the Darkness as it shoved me and injured me? Other times I just cry to Him. I hurt. I’m not supposed to be here. I get no answers. Just, “I’m here.”

Sometimes when I look to my side, I can faintly see my old smooth path through the trees. I see the milestones and the places where I thought I’d get to. I want to jump off my current path and go over there but I know it is impossible. Sometimes I want to curl up and just escape this nightmare of a path and go back to that dream. But my friends, and my Friend, help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. “You are doing great,” someone says, “You’re stronger than you think!” And that helps me keep going.

Step… step… step…

I hate this new path and the new way of walking, but at the same time I am starting to enjoy parts of it. I have learned to appreciate the moments where the path clears up a bit. I pause to look around and I enjoy the beauty that I see around me. I enjoy the small things, not knowing if around the bend Darkness waits for me again. I appreciate those who have gotten messy with me. I know as I watch them traveling close by that it can be uncomfortable for them, but never before have I fully understood or needed true friendship. And I have come to love the arm of my Friend that is always around me.

I used to think my Friend was just traveling the path near me – guiding me and pointing me the right way. But now I understand that His arm has always been tight around me. It is a love unlike any I have ever known.

And I keep walking.

Step…step…step…

+ + +

Heather has chosen the wonderful song “All My Praise” by the wonderful trio Selah, a music video with some wonderful graphics, to accompany her wonderful message. “Wonderful.” When Jesus is our companion on the journey, everything, in the end, is indeed filled with wonder. To see more of Heather’s writing, find her blog “Baby Steps – Sarah’s Journey” at http://sarahs-baby-steps.blogspot.com/

Click: All My Praise

Category: Faith, Hope, Perseverance

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Nancy says:

    What you wrote is so good. Keep walking. I’ll keep walking too.

  2. Pete Godbey says:

    Always enjoy. Wish could post on Face Book, do you have a FB page?

  3. Justin says:

    Hi Rick! What a great article! It’s certainly helped me today. I don’t know what rocky road you have stumbled upon..but I guess it’s irrelevant. In October I had what I can only describe as a bomb go off in my life. It sounded very similar to what has happened in yours. It’s been the hardest 3 months of my life…but I have never been closer to god in my life. I’ve had many friends tell me how great I’m doing..all the while I’m thinking..”If only they knew the truth.” That I have been shattered, that I’ve been devastated. God knows the truth. He knows how I feel. “The lord is my strength and my song” Ex 15:2.

    Thank you for the article. I loved it.

  4. [...] Suddenly, without warning, Darkness descended and violently shoved me off my path and onto another path. This new path was not at all like the last path or any I had been on before. I’d done rocky paths before, but this one was covered by sharp, jagged boulders that I had to climb over or around. It was messy – muddy and covered by debris. As I regained my balance and started to move forward again, I realized that I had been severely injured when I had been shoved. I looked down at my legs and saw that both were mangled. Stopping was not an option. I had to keep moving forward on this messy, new path…. Read this in full at http://www.mondayministry.com/blog/2013/01/13/i-keep-on-walking/ [...]

  5. Paula says:

    I don’t know what to say or do – except weep with you. Words don’t seem enough and distance is unbearable. But I’m here, thinking of you and your incredible crew of the strongest kids I know and praying for each of you to feel your Friend wrap you up in His arms while the tears flow until there are no more. And feel it still when the silence settles in. And even after all has been expressed and there is no strength left in the grieving, I’ll be praying that each of you finds much needed comfort in the Arms that hold so tightly to you.

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About The Author

... Rick Marschall is the author of 74 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia magazine called him "perhaps America's foremost authority on popular culture") to history and criticism; country music; television history; biography; and children's books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. For 10 years he has been active in the Christian field, writing devotionals and magazine articles; he was co-author of "The Secret Revealed" with Dr Jim Garlow. His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach for the “Christian Encounters” series (Thomas Nelson) was released in April, 2011. Read More