Laws for Walking

Laws for Walking

“Happy are those…who walk in the law of the Lord.” Psalm 119:1

Recently, the St. Paul Police Department has been aggressively enforcing pedestrian right away laws throughout the city. In Minnesota, pedestrians have the right away. Cars are required to stop when a person crosses the street. Technically, pedestrians are supposed to be in a crosswalk area, but this is not always the case. These laws are designed to prevent cars from hitting pedestrians.

One area the police have been targeting is Grand Avenue, a popular shopping district. The avenue is lined with stores and is often filled with people walking on sidewalks and crossing the street in random places. The extra scrutiny and the casual attitude of pedestrians make it a difficult road to drive. It’s not uncommon for people to cause a traffic standstill simply by standing on the side of the road talking.

I was much more comfortable driving in Brooklyn, New York. In Brooklyn, drivers had the right of way and pedestrians took their own life in their hands crossing the street. Drivers would honk their horn to warn people, which worked amazingly well. Still, it was not a place where people were happy or safe walking.

The enforcement of traffic laws have caused me to change my behavior. In order for me to drive Grand Avenue without going crazy, I need to slow down and be patient. It will take more time to travel in this area, but the street will be safer. It is not a street to drive when I am in a hurry. There are other streets designed for that purpose.

Laws require a change of behavior. They are designed to provide boundaries which consider all people not just our own selfish desires. Any law, whether secular or religious, when viewed in isolation of our own immediate circumstances, seem a violation of freedom and a burden to joy. However, when placed in context of a greater community, they can provide the greatest sense of joy.

I don’t always pray as I ought to or as the Lord demands. However, when I do, my soul becomes more connected to the needs of the world. All of my problems are then viewed through the lives of others. It helps me realize I am not alone, nor are my problems unique. It also helps me understand why people who walk in the way of the Lord are happier.

Click to read: Psalm 119: 1-8

Reflection Questions:

  • What laws, secular or religious, drive you crazy?
  • How do these same laws protect the greater community?
  • What is your initial response to the Law of the Lord? Is it positive or negative? Why?
  • Where do you need a change of behavior to help you discover joy?

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