A walk? “Would you like to go on a walk together?” As the church service ended, Walt and Pat Stuart approached us and extended the invitation; Larry and I eagerly accepted.
On this brilliant fall Sunday afternoon, the four of us set out. Newly introduced, we relished the opportunity to get better acquainted. Ours was no ordinary walk - this was a Wanderweg.
Jogs, sprints, and marathons each have their place, but the European Wanderweg holds a category all its own. I speak of walking for the sheer joy walking; steady, rambling walking for the delight of the company you keep. (I miss it sorely.)
Our Wanderweg with Walt and Pat consumed the entire afternoon. Through the orchards, around the cows, near the sheep, we walked. Breathtaking, pastoral scenes, resplendent with fall foliage, unfolded before us in magnificent display.
Whether walking in pairs or walking single file, we just kept talking – ours was a rolling meandering dialog, just like our rolling meandering terrain. Various personal stories moved with us as we steadily moved forward – stories of families, dreams for our future, and passion for our common Christ-calling. Conversation, contemplation, even commiseration composed the fabric of discussion.
We stopped at a Gasthaus for rich brown coffee and authentic Black Forest torte. This pausa marked our midpoint; the Wanderweg took us back home. Our foursome set out in the warmth of sunshine; we returned at a chilly dusk.
Reflections stayed with me from our classic Wanderweg, which started with an intentional invitation.
Peaceful - the experience was overwhelmingly bathed in peace
Purposeful - the focus was relational, getting to know each other
Pace - the one-step at-a-time trek moved us forward with deliberation, but this was not a race against the clock
Pauses - the pauses were as significant as the progress; we stopped at appropriate intervals to reflect, to ruminate
And, it is no wonder...
I still pause
when I read Genesis 5:24. Enoch walked with God.
Enoch. Walked. With. God.
That must have been quite the Wanderweg.