“Eighty percent of cardiac disease is preventable, if we just go for a walk.” So says Dr. David Sabgir. Upon examining his patients, many of whom were elderly and led sedentary lifestyles, Dr. Sabgir began to ask them if they would meet him on a Saturday morning walk in the park. So began the “Walk With a Doc” program, which now has more than 500 chapters around the world (walkwithadoc.org).
The interesting thing about “Walk With a Doc” is that it came from a simple invitation on the part of a concerned physician. He saw a need within them and asked them to join him in a very simple exercise. The results have been tremendous, not just in the number of participants, but in the physical fitness of those who participate. There is also another benefit - the patients can talk to the doctor about any subject they want. This can result in the relief of stress as well as positive socialization and expansion of friendship circles.
The Bible speaks of walking in the spiritual sense. In a context of asking rhetorical questions, all of which have answers of “No,” (Amos 3:2-6) Amos ask, “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet? (Amos 3:3). Though the context is one of punishment, the question itself can be used for contemplation on unity and togetherness.
The first benefit of walking together is the sharing of an experience. When I agree to a walk, I am tying myself to someone else. In being a Christian, I am participating in the body of Christ, just as they are, I can be blessed by the fact that they are with me, sharing the same experience, with both positive and negative effects.
Another benefit of walking together is the sharing of feelings. I may be tired and one who walks with me knows the feeling of fatigue as well. It may be a different level, but having had the same experience, similar feelings are shared. In Romans 12:15, Paul gives the instruction to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” If we are truly walking beside one another spiritually, that will come naturally because we have experienced the same types of things along the way.
Finally, walking together brings the sharing of the same goal. When we walk “in the light” (1John 1:7), “in love” (Ephesians 5:2), and “as children of light” Ephesians 5:8), our inevitable destination is to “be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23). Walking together brings the need for adjustments and understanding. If these are not a part of the experience, it won’t be long until we are not walking together. Someone has said, “don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
- Lance Cordle