Walking is one of my favorite metaphors and “Who are you walking with?” is one of my favorite questions.
For years you could find me most Thursday’s at noon at a BBQ place with some men I walk with. They are two of my closest friends. One week Dave brought a notebook from a couple years ago and we scanned it for previous conversations. He quoted one brief exchange…
- Darrel: “Tell me if you think I’m full of crap.”
- David: “You’re full of crap.”
I could give you a laundry list of their qualities that enrich my life, but today I am thankful that I’m walking with men who are trustworthy peers, voracious readers, and creative thinkers. (And they’re not afraid to tell my when I’m full of crap)
Trustworthy Peers – I can be completely myself with these guys. There is no posturing or pecking order. We have walked through career changes, the transition to empty-nestedness, failures, triumphs, marriages and divorce. And because of that they have seen me at my best and heard me at my worst. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
- Are you walking with one or two safe people?
Voracious Readers – My friends are great story tellers, communicators and can paint vivid pictures with words because they read so much. Sometimes we read the same book and talk about it. Other times we share the books we love with each other. Our conversations never get stale because of our love of books. I don’t know how anyone can lead, teach or preach without reading.
- Are you walking with others who read and inspire you to read?
Creative Thinkers – Good thinking comes from great questions. Our booth is a safe place to question systems, ourselves, each other, and status quo. We share our ideas. We air our doubts. I can’t imagine not having that sanctuary. I don’t know how you can do ministry without this kind of community.
- Are you walking with anyone who pushes you away from your intellectual default position?
“Do you want to go for a walk?” is not an exercise question – its a relational question. It is a question we should be hearing and asking. I’m glad we asked it and took the first step years ago.