Firstday School: Walking with God

Our friend Rolene Walker begins her Walk with Earth in a month (see www.walkwithearth.org). She will be walking from San Diego, Calif., to Santiago, Chile, for the beauty of the earth.

Ruah Swennerfelt and Louis Cox from Quaker Earthcare Witness will be in San Francisco later in March as part of their Peace for Earth Walk (http://www.peaceforearth.org/PeaceforEarthWalk/itinerary.htm).

Of course, a year and a half ago, Marshall Massey walked from Nebraska to address Baltimore Yearly Meeting's annual sessions (see this link for a description of his leading).

Today in Firstday School, I talked about people being led by God to walk. Here's my outline.

Introductions: What's the farthest you've ever walked or run?

Objectives: Learn about people being led on walks; specifically, George Fox and Rolene Walker. Consider how far the walks might be.

Strategies: I read a brief excerpt from George Fox's Journal, in which he talked about being 11 and having a strong sense of right and wrong, and saying Yea and Nay. I showed a map of England, highlighting the general area of Leicestershire where his home village, Fenny Drayton, was, and connecting it to Pendle Hill and Kendal, near where Swarthmoor Hall was located. He walked most of that distance.

Then we looked at the map of Rolene's walk route (shown). I had made copies of maps of Central America and South America from my historical atlas, which showed when Santiago was founded (in the 1540s) and the names of the indigenous peoples in Mexico and the Inca empire.

Finally, we calculated how many steps her walk might take each of us. On a straight line, the distance is about 5,500 miles. Her route will be something over 7,000 miles.

I put a long piece of butcher paper on the floor, we taped markers to the front of our shoes, and we took turns marking how long our strides are. Fortunately, there were only two students; if the class had been as big as sometimes, it might have been a bit chaotic. Anyway, our strides ranged from 14" to 27". So the estimation was:

  • Six Year Old: 7,000 miles x 5,300 ft/mi x 12 inches/ft x 1 stride/14 inches = 31.8 million strides!
  • Me: 7,000 mi x 5,300 ft/mi x 12 in/ft x 1 stride/27 inches = 16.5 million strides

    Affirmation: We reported back to the full meeting about our findings. Before we said the number of footsteps, Rolene said, "I don't think I want to know!"

    Best wishes, Rolene. We will hold you in the Light as you go.

    Liz Opp said...

    This post has given me the idea to bring up in our pre-meeting session Fox's and Woolman's experience as young people. Sometimes I worry that what we share and consider during our intergenerational FDS time isn't accessible to the youngest people in our group.

    Also, I'll have to look up the passage you mention about George Fox... Care to offer a reference, either electronic or printed?

    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

    Chris M. said...

    Yes, Chapter 1, paragraph 4, thanks to Kirk at Street Corner Society:

    When I came to eleven years of age I knew pureness and righteousness; for while a child I was taught how to walk to be kept pure. The Lord taught me to be faithful in all things, and to act faithfully two ways, viz., inwardly, to God, and outwardly, to man; and to keep to Yea and Nay in all things. For the Lord showed me that, though the people of the world have mouths full of deceit, and changeable affords, yet I was to keep to Yea and Nay in all things; and that my words should lie few and savoury, seasoned with grace; and that I might not eat and drink to make myself wanton, but for health, using the creatures in their service, as servants in their places, to the glory of Him that created them.

    -- Chris M.