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Keep Moving!

Author: Annie O'Connor

Picture: Flickr

Keep Moving!

In climbing and walking, Annie O'Connor discovers fresh insights into God's movement in our lives and in the world.

Walking up a great big hill in North Wales, I paused to admire the view, and was struck that such beautiful views only come after a steep climb. Indeed, they only come because of movement.

It would have been easier not to move that day. I was four days into a 134-mile sponsored walk and feeling a bit tired and achy. Sitting still and doing nothing seemed quite appealing.

However, not going uphill, not moving, would have meant not reaching my destination and, therefore, not experiencing the beauty waiting there for me. So, I kept moving.

No Movement, No Life

I was reminded recently of something I learned in school: movement is one of the seven processes essential to all living things. It is a sign of being alive. Without movement, there is no life.

As I walked up the hill, I began to think about movement. What does it mean to move? Words and ideas associated with this word, “movement”, sprang to mind: motion, life, activity, change, openness, improvement, energy, growth, wondering, wandering, transformation, rhythm, flexibility.

I thought about things in my backpack that were not necessary for the journey, which weighed me down and restricted movement.

I thought about things in my life and in my heart, as well as things in our country and in our world, that need to move.

God The Prime Mover

As a former Philosophy teacher, I was reminded of something I used to teach my students: God is the prime mover, and all movement can be traced back to God.

Without an initial mover, nothing would move at all. Without God, there is no life, no movement, no change.

I reflected upon Jesus as the movement of God, the stepping out of God, the motion and activity of God, the changing and transforming arrival of God – in my life, in my heart, in our country and in our world.

I then considered how we, as church, are called to be the movement of God.

Back in school, I also learned that joints and tendons and muscles are needed for movement. As I walked up that hill, down the other side and into the valley, it seemed to me that we are the joints, tendons and muscles that enable the movement of God.

Movement And Transformation

I was greatly encouraged by all this thought of movement as I walked the many miles that day and the next day, and the next. However, this was just a bit of physical movement, a few days’ walk.

The greater challenge for me is to keep moving spiritually and practically.

Movement is not simply a nice idea to reflect on as I take time out from my normal routine, but a transforming and concrete reality in my life.

Indeed, it is one of the things that shows I am alive.

In sharing this, I hope it will help you think about movement. What needs to move in your life? Where and how can you be the movement of God?

Here is what I like about walking long distances: it gives me time to think and gives God space to reveal things to me that I might not otherwise notice.

I cannot recommend it to you highly enough. So get moving!

  • Annie O'Connor works as Tutor and Training Development Officer for Church Army: www.churcharmy.org.uk. Her sponsored walk raised money for Church Army and her own charity Heritage of Faith, which supports an orphanage in Kenya.

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