I enjoy walking, and especially with my two dogs. Lulu and Mable, I call them. I occasionally call them “Lulu Sue” and “Mable Sue”. Sue is my wife’s middle name and I remind her that the dogs were named after her, which she should consider an honor. She isn’t so sure.

It had been a long day of working on a sermon. Several reference books were laid out, having been used earlier in the day. The dogs sensed that the time had come for their walk. Excitedly they jumped up and ran to the basket where I keep their leashes – even if I had not planned to walk them, it was now an inevitability. So off we went, down the shady lane on this sunny, late afternoon. If we made it a short walk, we would be home in time for supper. If it went a little too long – well, microwaves are very good at warming up food.

I made a few observations on the walk.

I watched a bee gathering pollen. It extracted the pollen, then buzzed around to another plant, pollinating it. So much of our food is the result of busy bees, working at pollination. This is a wonderful aspect of nature (I use “wonderful” in its true sense: giving an aura of wonder). The sight reminded me of God’s discourse with Joh, where in Chapter 39 of Job one after another of the intricacies of nature are presented as evidence that God knows what He is doing. Job is simply to trust. All of creation, from the largest galaxy to the fine detail in the root system of plants, speaks of an infinitely intelligent and wise Creator.

We continued our walk down the shady path and soon turned a corner where two boys were playing a game of one-on-one basketball in the driveway of a home. I would guess the boys to be fourteen or fifteen, just at the age when boyhood is being left behind and manhood is beckoning. I watched as they dribbled the ball, made moves to drive to the basket and took outside shots. It put me in mind of Psalm 139:14, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” The human body is a real masterpiece, isn’t it? All the parts work together to make a person. The eyes see, the legs and arms move, all the while the brain coordinates everything, even keeping the internal organs – lungs, heart and all the other parts – working as they should. Who could ever really believe that such a masterpiece as the human body is a random, accidental act of nature? No, we are created by an awesome and loving God. How genuinely wise and good is God!

We were now turning the same corner as earlier, but this time headed back home. A car approached, so I reined the dogs over to the side. Since they have been trained this way, they obediently walked over to where they were safely off the road. As they sat there, waiting for the car to pass, I spoke softly and affirmingly to them, letting them know that their obedience had earned my pleasure. What they don’t seem to realize is that their obedience also earned their safety. As I expressed my pleasure of their obedience to them, the look on their faces was one of trust and love toward me. Nothing seems to please them more than to please me, their Master. And when they please me, I desire to bestow greater love upon them. Obedience and love go together in our relationship with Christ, our Master. When we obey God, it pleases Him – and it brings a benefit to us. And then, God is more inclined to bestow His love upon us than before. And where does that leave us? With an attitude and face that express trust and love for God.

I suggest that for real peace of mind, you use your walks to think about God.