He looked like a teeny little stick figure way off in the distance.
Even though I’ve only laid eyes on this guy maybe 5 times in 8 years of running this route, I knew immediately, even from far away and behind, it was him.
I could tell by his walk. Nothing unique or unusual or weird about the way he walks. A normal stride by an average man. But still, I recognized him even though we’ve never met.
Which brought me to the fresh realization, that we are all known by how we walk. Even from a long distance away, people are watching us. How we live, react, treat our family, respond to injustice, and handle a bad-mood day, ALL of it matters.
Ron and I and two of our more famous friends walked into a NYC restaurant one night. We expected the hostess to recognize our friends, but instead she said, “Pastor Ron?” Turns out her parents go to our Raleigh church nearly 500 miles away, and she had seen Ron maybe one time in NC, but she knew him.
We joked with our friends saying, “Ha, WE are the truly famous ones here,” but all of us knew in that moment, you gotta watch your walk and your talk.
Wouldn’t it be great if no one was looking. We could be free and just let it naturally flow. Lose our tempers when we want, scream at one person knowing others who really matter aren’t looking.
But we can’t. We’re recognizable by things as simple as a stride. Which compels me to be more careful…with everyone, in attitudes and reactions at all times.
Do you have some regrets? I know I do. And the good news is we can change our stride, walk taller, softer, in a straighter line, just by being conscious and careful, privately and in public.
So regardless of where you’re walking today, remember all eyes are on you. Well maybe not all eyes, but at least a few, and that my friend, is a privilege, even from behind.