Hike with Me
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him . . . Colossians 2:6
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I love hiking. I love being outdoors. I love the exercise. I love the scenery and the experience. The only thing better than hiking is hiking with my family, because I love them and it’s an opportunity to spend time with them. While hiking, there are no phones or distractions, and when we hike together, we spend time communicating as we work towards a common goal.
What if though, while attempting a hike, we got to the trailhead, and everyone just took off in their own direction? What if one person hiked the trail, one walked back down the road, one headed off to bushwhack, and one simply stayed in the car? We certainly wouldn’t achieve a common goal and we wouldn’t be spending time together. That would be a failure of a hike.
Though he wasn’t speaking of a mountain hike, Paul did use a similar metaphor in today’s passage. In it, he said that as the Colossians had received Christ, they must now walk in him. This verb, peripateó, does translate “to walk”, but means to conduct one’s life, or to live in such a way. As they had come to know Christ, now Paul commanded that they must walk through the rest of their lives with him.
I’ve often missed this. Yes, I’ve received Christ, in the sense that I’ve believed in him. According to Paul though, that is just the beginning of my faith. If I’m truly a Christian or disciple, I must also walk through life with him. Looking back though, I can see that I’ve believed, but I’ve often just taken off in my own direction, expecting that he’d follow me wherever I go. Then, when I was so far off the trail that I didn’t even know where it was, I’ve wondered why I was lost and why God abandoned me.
He doesn’t abandon us though. We abandon him. If we want the life God made us for, we must walk with him. That means we follow him – not he follows us. This means we abandon our way to live as he wants. It’s not just changing our behavior though. Walking with God also means that we do life with him. Just like my family hike, in walking together, we communicate, developing our relationship as we work together towards a common goal. To walk with our creator is to live in an intimate relationship with him.
God is beckoning, “Come hike with me”. Daily, if we desire the life for which we were made, we must choose to walk, doing life, with him.