Top Ten Quotes: God Walk
Several years ago someone put a copy of The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan into my hands. It was one of the first books I’ve ever read on Sabbath, and still one of the most impactful.
So when I saw one of Buchanan’s newer titles, I knew I needed to read it. God Walk: Moving at the Speed of Your Soul can almost be considered a companion piece to The Rest of God, if not at the least a deep dive into the spiritual practice of walking slowly and noticing. Buchanan’s thesis in a few sentences:
Did Christian faith have a corresponding physical discipline, then lost it? That’s what I’m going to argue here. And I’m going to argue that this discipline is the oldest and simplest practice around. It’s walking.
As for me, I am a notoriously fast walker. What I lack in length of leg I make up for in “gotta get there” speed. It drives my wife crazy when we’re on a so-called leisurely walk and I keep getting ahead of her because #efficiency. So God Walk was a challenge not only to the speed of my walking, but also – as the subtitle suggests – the speed of my soul.
Here are my top ten favorite quotes:
- God walks “slowly” because he is love. If he is not love he would move much faster. Love has its speed.
- We walk with a God who seems in no particular hurry and who, it seems, enjoys the going there as much as the getting there. A God who is slow.
- The good way is not necessarily the quickest way or the easiest or even the safest. Its goodness is that it gets you there and does its work in you as you go.
- …friends meddle in one another’s lives. Friends aren’t always friendly. Friends don’t always even like one another. It’s not uncommon for friends to resent each other. What makes it friendship is we keep walking together.
- We lack, more and more, evenhandedness and coolheadedness. We are, more and more, marked by fear and anxiety and irritation. We flare up more easily, break down more quickly, panic with little provocation, fume over minor complications.
- The exodus is as much about remembering as anticipating…[t]hey walk toward promised land, but also away from captivity.
- But Jesus himself does not choose the straightway. He wanders highways and byways. He seeks out lonely places. He rambles about in the wilderness. He plots the longest distance between two points and takes that. Given a choice between a safe quick route and a slow dangerous one, he almost always picks the latter.
- This is my main mode of travel—hurrying. I dash, I bolt, I scurry. My life is a whirlwind. I have to walk to stop running.
- …we ourselves are the problem. We sabotage our own flourishing. I’ve done this often enough not to argue otherwise. But I also think that the slowness of personal formation appears to be universal…I think the slowness is built in. It’s a designed flaw, something God mixed in to the human condition on purpose. He seems to have rigged it. Becoming like Jesus doesn’t happen quickly for anyone.
- Reflect on the journey your life is. What’s come quickly? What’s taking a long, long time? What part of that long, long time—that slowness—is self-sabotage? And what part is simply God’s way of growing you?
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