Take a Hike

August 29, 2012

Psalm 121:1

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains: where is my help to come from?"

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

I recently learned a new expression, solvitur ambulando. It's Latin and means, roughly, "It is solved by walking."

Facing a tough problem, a gnarly worry, a writer's (or a preacher's) block? Go for a walk. Take a hike. Solvitur ambulando. It may be solved in walking.

So often when I am stewing about something the answer is not to be found by thinking harder, stewing more, making lists or hitting the matter head on (again). Going for a walk, or a run, a bike ride or a swim gets the body moving and may take the mind off the spinning wheel. And then, just when I've stopped looking for it, an insight or idea or entirely different way emerges.

This, by the way, is sort of the idea of the Christian doctrine of "revelation" (small "r"). When revelation happens we are not likely to say, "I figured it out" or "I've got it." We are more likely to say something like, "It came to me," or "It occurred to me." That is, it's not so much something we get as something we are given.

For poets, this is often the way a poem begins. It is often, in my experience, where my better sermons come from. Something "comes to me." Thank you, God.

Sometimes when we take a walk or a hike or jog, it happens. Solvitor ambulando. It is solved by walking.

Prayer

When my mind is struck, remind me to get my body moving. And thank you, Lord, that I am able to move, to walk, to hike, to run. What a blessing. Amen.

About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, and he is also the author of the just-published Book of Exodus: A God is still speaking Bible Study. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com by clicking on Weekly Reading.

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