I have walked 1,600 miles since the American Legion launched the “100 Miles for Hope” Challenge on August 7, 2020. For all these months, I have walked an average of 4 miles a day around my neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each time I reach a 100-mile marker, I write an article about something I have learned during my walks. It is my reflection journal. On this day, March 6, 2022, I have reached a total distance of 1,600 miles from my home in Cambridge towards Seattle, where my three siblings live. “Reaching” their home is the goal that motivates me to walk each day—except on the Lord’s Day, which is my Sabbath, or day of rest from walking. Sunday, March 6th is a special day in our church’s history. It is the day we will celebrate the 41st anniversary of when my wife and I started our first church in Berkeley, California. In 2011, I “retired” after 30 years of pastoral tenure from Berkland Baptist Church (now called Antioch Baptist Church).
Now, walking has become a part of my daily life, and I look forward to walking. It has become a joyful hour, my main priority around noontime. I even skip lunch, which has helped me stay healthy and has given me more energy. I also feel so satisfied when I come home from my walk, as I have achieved my goal for the day. By being disciplined in doing this part of my daily routine, I am motivated to do even more activities during the day. In life, being disciplined in accomplishing our daily tasks is important, even in small things like making the bed first thing in the morning. You can set priorities by having daily discipline. What is your priority in your daily routine, whether you are in school or at work? The Bible says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) Our daily priority ought to be to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, to do his will. The Lord Jesus came into this world to do the will of God, which he accomplished when he said on the cross, “It is finished!” That was God’s plan of salvation for everyone who believes in Jesus (John 1:12-13; 3:16; Romans 10:9-13).
What do you look forward to most in life? We all look forward to living out our dreams. Many people from other countries come to the United States seeking the American Dream. Others dream of traveling around the world. For many years, one of my dreams was to drive across the country. It was never carried out in one stretch, but if you add up four different road trips I’ve taken, it amounts to well over 3,000 miles:
1. A family vacation over 35 years ago from Berkeley, CA to New Mexico (2,500 miles round trip)
2. Another family vacation from Berkeley, CA to Seattle, WA (1,600 miles round trip)
3. My first interstate road trip after seminary, from Fort Worth, TX to Los Angeles, CA. It was on this road that I met my wife, Chaplain Rebekah, in July 1979 (1,400 miles)
4. A family vacation to Ohio in July 1991 (750 miles)
Once, my wife and I took a sleeping car on an Amtrak from Tacoma, Washington, to Boston, which took three days. It was an unforgettable trip. With that fond memory, I have decided to walk the 3,000-mile distance, of which I have now reached a little over half. About two decades ago I organized the “BBC Bike Club” at my church, where we would ride 24 miles round-trip in two hours on Saturdays, from Cambridge to Bedford, Massachusetts. Some days, I rode 2-3 times a week. During those days, I estimate that I rode over 4,000 miles.
If you look forward to accomplishing your lifelong dreams, then you can set goals to reach them through a disciplined life. What is the next dream you are working on? Your discipline will motivate you to make your dream come true. Our life is short and flies by quickly, so you ought to redeem your time through discipline if you ever want to celebrate fulfilling your dream. I look forward to celebrating a big event when I reach 3,000 miles next summer.