Words Of Encouragement By Susan Niswonger / last year Share Tweet Pin Share A Hop, A Skip, And A Walk Around The Block If you want to experience life on another level, take a walk with a 2-year old. Yesterday, while Mommy and Nathan went to visit the doctor, Caleb and Grandma went for a walk. Walking with a child won’t get your heart rate up to a fat-burning level or leave you with aching muscles, but it will challenge you to slow down and enjoy the simpler things of creation. Our walk began at a fast pace, with Caleb running and Grandma hurrying to keep up. You can never settle into a rhythm with a child, however, because you never know when something will catch their eye and present a new discovery opportunity. After walking about 300 feet, Caleb bent over to pick up 4 newly fallen baby pine cones. He handed them to me to carry because he needed his hands free for the next adventure and he knew Grandma would keep his treasure in safe keeping until needed for his future plans. Turning the corner and continuing down the sidewalk, we met 2 stone lions minding their own business until we came along. We paused for a moment to growl and make faces at them before leaving them to their task of guarding a garage. Caleb called my attention to all the wonderful sounds filling the air and we identified the chirps of small birds, a barking dog, the roar of an airplane taking off on an exciting journey and the raucous caw of a large blackbird as it flew from its perch in a nearby tree. Rounding the next corner, a fallen twig became a sword, a walking stick and a gun on a shoulder as we marched off to war. Caleb held the twig tightly in his little hand as we neared a most exciting task reserved for twigs and pine cones. He loves to let them fall through the holes in the gutter, down into the darkness until he hears the splash as they hit the water. With that assignment completed, we hopped like bunnies onto the manhole cover just to hear the echo. A crack in the pavement down the middle of the road became a tight rope to help perfect our balance. With his little hand in mine we turned the last corner and headed home just in time for a snack and some juice. Sometime our lives become so focused we forget to let our imaginations run wild and our dreams soar. God has so many wonderful things to show us and share with us if we would pause for just a moment to look and listen. Instead we settle into the rhythm of life as it passes swiftly by carrying all our dreams with it until we finally wake up and realize what might have been. It may sound childish and you may feel silly, but spiritually speaking, take a slow walk around the block, really listen to the soft whispers that have been drowned out by the roar of what you thought was important. Hop like a bunny, skip like a lamb, march like a soldier or make faces at a stone lion. Consider all the possibilities in God and dare to dream once again.