By Judy Brandon
Memphis, Tenn., holds fond memories for me. During my childhood, our family made many visits to relatives who lived in the area. So it was during my early years that I began to develop an affinity for the city of Memphis. In fact, that was carried through to years later when Charlie and I decided to take our honeymoon trip to Memphis.
The attraction? The Mississippi River, the parks and even the Memphis Zoo are spectacular. The mood of the city brings back the nostalgia of my childhood and family roots. One of the main memories I have of Memphis might seem very dull to the average tourist: It’s Overton Park in downtown Memphis.
As a little girl, it seemed like an immense park with promenade walks all around it and a quadrant filled with trees, grass and park benches. People in the downtown area waited on buses or just sat and relaxed in this beautiful park. The park was filled with thousands of pigeons accustomed to being fed by people. So early on one of our trips to Memphis, Mother and Daddy took us downtown to Overton Park to experience feeding the pigeons. This was real excitement for two little New Mexico girls.
As soon as we sat down on one of the park benches, we would hear a fluttering and the pigeons would flock on every side of us, hoping to be fed. I thought that they walked so peculiar, a really crazy gait. Then years later I found why pigeons walk the way they do. I read an article in a science magazine written by a bird expert. He said that pigeons can’t focus on what is ahead of them when they are walking, so the pigeon has to hold his ahead entirely still between stops to get his eyes in focus again. So the result is a crazy walk that involves a stop with each step.
But as an adult I can relate a spiritual principal to that pigeon experience because at times my spiritual walk is like that. I sometimes do not have Christ as my focal point when I am going about my daily duties and obligations. In fact, sometimes the things I say and the things I do are the result of a walk that is not focused on Christ but distracted by the routine things of the world. When I get like that, I have to stop, refocus and think about my walk.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not the kind of spiritual person that prays over every daily decision such as, “Shall I pick up the cleaning or shall I go to the grocery store?” But I do know that spiritual vision involves seeing God in our daily steps and making Him the focal point of our mindset.
Maybe you like me could use some spiritual concentration, thinking on higher things, during your day. I know it can make our “walk” that much more peaceful, graceful and enjoyable.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org