I walk with God in perfect holiness.
I am by nature a walker. As often as possible I wake before anyone else in the house – indeed, the whole village – and head into the woods and fields with my dog. Those walks – beneath stars, in darkness, sometimes lit by the moon – are a sort of prayer in my life. It is often clear as I wind my way along familiar trails that I am not alone but walk with companions whose love exceeds my capacity to understand. I am grateful on those walks, and joyful, and peace seems to fill the world.
And yet, those walks end, or they seem to, and the busier rhythms of life accelerate and fill with details. It’s time to feed the kids, time to drive to work, time to teach, time to cook dinner, time to go grocery shopping or fill out our taxes or cut firewood . . .
How I miss my walks then! And I wonder if it is even fair to even dream of a life in which that kind of peace and clarity can fill every hour for all of us instead of being a brief and private moment before dawn.
Lesson 156 seems to tacitly acknowledge this conflict and even offer a way out. Life goes on and our job isn’t to stop it or slow it down or modify it in any way. We are not focused on the world of form – which is ever changing, ever shifting – but on a lovelier content beyond in which change of any kind is not even contemplated. We are composed of that content – that love – and extend it constantly. It’s true! And yet we have forgotten this simple fact, recalling it only in fragments.
There is another way.
What lives is holy as Himself, because what shares His life is part of Holiness, and could no more be sinful than the sun could choose to be of ice; the sea elect to be apart from water, or the grass to grow with roots suspended in the air (W-pI.156.3:3).
How do we make contact with this truth? Hold it always in mind, for ourselves and for one another as well? What is the secret?
“Who walks with me?” This question should be asked a thousand times a day, till certainty has ended doubting and established peace. Today let doubting cease (W-pI.156.8:1-2).
There are 86,400 seconds in a day. That means that if we asked who walks with us a thousand times we would basically be doing it every minute and a half. We literally would not go two minutes without stopping to ask: who walks with me? It sounds crazy, right? But is there any evidence that Jesus is not being literal here? Isn’t this a variation on the old idea to ask and ask again. It isn’t Jesus’ intention to ignore us or leave us disappointed.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
I think this lesson invites us to an intensity and an obsession the ultimate fruit of which is freedom. We awaken when we remember – and are no longer willing to forget – that it is God who walks with us, that we bear within us a holy light whose radiance we can neither diminish nor eliminate. Holiness, it turns out, is the condition of life. We go with God always, as God goes with us.
The light in you is what the universe longs to behold. All living things are still before you, for they recognize Who walks with you. The light you carry is their own (W-pI.156.5:1-3).
So we are in this together then. We carry the light together and remind each other of its presence and necessity. Really, we are each other’s grace. If for one day we asked without ceasing who walks with us, the truth would emerge through the walls of denial and clouds of complexity in which we are so invested. We would no longer be alone. We would no longer be fearful. And the peace which surpasses understanding would at last – again – be ours to give.