My wife and I do quite a bit of walking together. We walk to work together most mornings. We walk into town to buy groceries together (actually, she buys; I carry). And occasionally we walk to enjoy the beach together, or just for a little bit of exercise.
As you might imagine, with all this walking, we also do a fair bit of hand-holding. 🙂
Early on in our marriage, my highly perceptive wife noticed something: in order for hand-holding to be most comfortable, we need to be “in step” with one another–except that we mean that we actually have to be exactly off step from one another.
As humans, when our right foot goes forward, our left arm swings forward, and vice-versa. So, if my left hand is holding her right hand, we’ll be able to swing freely if my left foot goes forward at the same time as her right foot does; if we actually walk so that our pace matches (both left feet going forward at the same time), we find that our arms don’t swing at all (they hold one another back)–and where’s the fun in that!
So it’s interesting to me that for us as a couple to be “in step,” we sort of need to be out of step.
From outside appearances, it may seem like we’re totally out of sync, but we’re not. We’re not each erratically moving to our own pace, but rather we adapt our steps to one another so that there is greater harmony between us.
The Bible talks about us keeping in step with the Spirit of God. What does this mean? We need to intentionally adjust our steps so that we match up with His, not forsaking who He’s made us to be or our individuality, but bringing ourselves into a place where we can walk comfortably with Him, enjoying the harmony, and swinging our arms freely.