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Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Posted on April 16, 2020
By Mike Harper

It’s always an adventure in the neighborhood I walk every day. It might be an aggressive dog or just a friendly one. It might be a bustling garage sale or giggling kids on bikes. But through all the various activities, the neighborhood has become very familiar. I know the yards. I know the streets. I know some of the people. I know which dogs to avoid. I know this subdivision like the back of my head.

That changed today. For some reason, after all these years of routine, I ventured beyond my comfort zone and wandered into an adjacent neighborhood. There were still beautifully landscaped lawns and carefully manicured flower gardens. And there were still people washing cars, just like always. But it all looked different. It was fresh. It was a new neighborhood. It even had that new neighborhood smell. I was so taken by all its beauty and shininess, I forgot to pay attention to an important detail:

I didn’t know where the heck I was. I was…

“Lost in Suburbia”. *(Ominous minor key sound effect)

I looked up and realized I’d gotten turned around. I wasn’t sure if I was facing north or south, headed home or deeper into oblivion. The streets all started looking the same and I knew none of them. Off in the distance, I was sure I heard minor key music. And maybe a dog’s howl. And I think some fog rolled in.

After a moment of anxiety, what quickly followed was an overwhelming assurance of peace. I remembered what I actually knew all along. I knew if I just kept walking, I’d eventually find familiar ground. I knew there was no way I would walk forever! With time, I’d see a house I recognized or at the very least one of those hounds would find me.

So I relaxed and kept walking. I listened to tunes, breathed the fresh air, and waved at the cars. I was so enjoying the brand new surroundings I hadn’t even known existed before. And sure enough, soon I found my way. (Accompanied by some light, ascending orchestra string music in a major key. And as if on cue, the sun came out again.)

Sure, this is just a little thing about a walk in a neighborhood. But it reminded me of something bigger: Something important.

And that is, it just shows to go ya. Sometimes walking outside the lines can be scary. But if you’re secure in the fact you will eventually get home, you can enjoy the journey!

And yes, that’ll preach.

So take a walk on the wild side. Or in this case, the next neighborhood over. The grass isn’t necessarily greener. It’s probably just Bermuda.

And be careful. You never know about those wacky dogs.

(Frankly, I think they’re up to something.)

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – Jesus

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