We know what it means to walk for health. Walk briskly; keep your heart rate slightly elevated, so that sweating develops as you walk. Walking for health requires walking at least three times per week for at least half an hour per session.
We walk for health reasons because walking and jogging are linked to reduction in the risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
Some walk for the relief it provides from stress by the production of the feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine and by the corresponding reduction in the stress hormone, cortisol.
Yet others walk for the social benefits. They walk with friends and make friends along the way.
I knew one man who walked for ice-cream, sweet bread and cake… my dear father!
Walking for health or exercise is something we purposefully set about to do. It is done at fixed times, regularly and with dedication and commitment.
1Thessalonians 5 begins with a reminder that believers in Christ are aware of God’s will, love God and want to walk in his light.
To walk in his light is not an act to be carried out only when we think that the time is near for his return or that our time of death is near. No, walking in his light should be approached just as walking for exercise is approached: consistently, whether we are being monitored or not.
We are reminded that just as a thief comes in the night – unexpectedly, unannounced – so too will be the return of the Christ.
It is our duty as believers to live alert, keeping our actions aligned with God’s will.
So how do we live in times of trouble? It ought to be very much like how we live in good times: aware of God’s will, loving him and walking in his light.
The latter part of 1 Thessalonians 5 is filled with wisdom; there are snippets of advice for living a purposeful life; a life of service. It is part of the manual of how to live in God’s light at all times, troubled or not.
I strongly recommend reading the scripture here, regardless of your religious persuasion or even if you are an atheist.
The reason for my recommendation is that the message contains Universal principles for living with consideration, gratitude, humility, love and responsibility.
These principles may help reduce the perception of hopelessness due to rampant violence and indifference evident all around us. Application of these principles may even counteract the actual acts which cause trouble.
Who amongst us would not wish to alleviate the levels of aggression, hatred and animosity in this world? Education, reasoning and love are three critical elements in overcoming the social cancer of violence.
I have summarized some of the main points from the latter part of the scripture below (my list is not exhaustive).
- Be self-controlled and alert.
- Have faith in your Creator.
- Encourage one another, building up not destroying each other.
- Live in peace with each other.
- Warn the unruly.
- Comfort those who need comforting.
- Support the weak.
- Exercise patience and patient endurance.
- Be kind.
- Be joyful (embrace all situations, good or troubled times, with grace).
- Pray at every opportunity, consistently.
- Be grateful and express it.
- Surround yourself with what is good, practice what is good and stay away from anything that either is not good or does not appear to be good.
How do you handle times of trouble?