Counting Steps

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By Pastor Billy Byler

I’ve taken 7,983 steps today. And it’s only 2:31 p.m., which means it’s a better-than-average day. Thank you, morning dog walk.

I didn’t count the steps individually. I’m weird but not that weird. No, I have a watch. It counts steps. Well… it counts arm movements and interprets them as steps. Sometimes I can trick it and move my arm around from the comfort of my recliner at home. But then my wife stops and asks why I’m waving at the people on Netflix. She knows I’m weird.

Generally speaking, my watch gives me a good assessment of how my day has gone. If I sit still all day in front of my computer while I’m crafting Spotify playlists and checking MLB trade rumors deeply studying Wesley’s Quadrilateral, my steps count can be quite low. That’s not healthy. And it’s not good for me at all.

But my watch can detect how long I’ve been sitting still. After an hour of inactivity, I’ll get a sharp, vibrating buzz on my wrist, which means it’s either time to walk around or time to address an alarmingly sudden bee infestation. Either way, it gets me moving.

While it’s nice to have a watch to track my physical movement, I don’t have a gadget to assess my spiritual growth. It would be convenient to look at a screen that gives me a thumbs up or thumbs down for Jesus, I suppose. But that’s not how it works.

Jesus did a lot of walking during his life. It was far more than 100 miles from some of his favorite spots on the Sea of Galilee all the way down to Jerusalem and there was a shocking lack of Uber rides in his time. But on every step of the journey his disciples were there asking questions, having conversations and learning from Christ.

What are we doing with our steps? It’s fine to set a fitness goal to take a certain number of steps per day, but where are those steps leading us? If all I do is walk 10,000 steps with no other purpose, I’ll just end up about 5 miles from home with nothing to show for it.

But if my steps lead me somewhere good, then that’s another story. If my steps lead me to a place of rest and biblical study, or to give water to someone who’s thirsty or to hug a friend in need of encouragement or anywhere we experience worship, discipleship or service, our steps are producing fruit in line with the Lord.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” –Isaiah 52:7

Let us step confidently, then. And let’s not just count our steps; let’s make our steps count.

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