RELATIONSHIPS AND REWARDS
OK, I sometimes find myself caught between two contrasting ideas. Let me give you one in particular. In Ephesians we are commanded to “walk in love” and then in Hebrews we are told to “run…the race.” Paul instructs us in Galatians to, “Walk in the Spirit,” and then in I Corinthians, “So run, that ye may obtain.”
I realize that these words are figurative, but still they present a different concept of what the Christian life is. I don’t want to find myself running when I should be walking or walking when I ought to be running. Actually I am certain that I have been guilty of doing both. So, let me try and decipher the difference.
As I read every passage I could find on these two words I have come to believe that walking deals with our earthly relationships and running deals with our eternal rewards. We walk with God but we run for the prize. We walk in the Spirit but we run the race before us. We walk in love for others but we run with purpose towards the mark.
Now here is what I struggle with. I often run in my relationships and walk in my purpose. I speed past people and crawl towards the goal. Am I alone in this? I all too often find myself running in the spirit and walking towards the prize. I get so busy that I run in love and then so weary that I walk the race set before me. What I must learn to do is to hurry up and slow down. But why is this so important?
The reason we get weary in the race is because we are not walking to gain strength and perspective. If we walk in love we can run with patience. If we walk in the spirit we can run for the prize. Walking is the time we slow down in our relationship so that we can speed up in our race.
It is interesting that both are included in Isaiah 40:31 when we are exhorted to wait on the Lord. If we run we will not be weary and we walk we will not faint. If we are waiting on (serving) the Lord we will be strengthened in the run and invigorated in the walk. So, how about doing both, walk and run. However, let us learn the right time for each.