I took a few days over the weekend to experience Brisbane, before the ASA Leadership Conference this past week. Having never visited Brisbane, other than really seeing it as a drive through, drive by point, on the way to the Sunshine Coast, it was an unexpected window of time to ‘check out the CBD’.

As a non-Brisbanian, non-Queenslander, I had no reference point other than my own assumptions about ‘city’ and CBD-living based on other ‘Aussie’ and overseas cities. I had no reference point for the ‘River City’.

My assumptions were wrong.

From its wonderful parks, to its free ‘KittyCat’ river taxi service, from its weekend markets in the Botanical gardens to its South Bank entertainment precinct, right through to its Cultural Quarter and myriad of quality restaurants and cafes, Brisbane managed to surprise and delight me at every turn.

How did this happen? Because I walked its streets.

Walking gets us amongst the people. Walking slows us down to a pace that lets us not just see, but be. Walking gives permission to pause and ponder, before recommencing our promenade! Walking lets us meet and greet, lets us say hello or pass a comment. Walking lets us be in the location that we are: fully and completely.

Jesus walked. He walked across the landscape. He walked to connect, to be present and to present His message. 1 John 2:6 tells us that if we claim to follow Him then we need to live, be, walk, as Him. Walking puts us in His footsteps, walking has us follow His lead.

We all commute, we all travel, we all move each day: to work, at work, for work… but do we actually walk?

Do we walk through the playground seeking to interact, connect and communicate? Do we walk to an office, a staff room or meeting, seeking to simply be present and listen and learn? Do we walk by or do we pause when we sense connection is required? Do we walk outside and let the journey guide our actions? Do we walk so that we may pause and simply be where we are?

Yes, your day is busy, crazy busy in fact; there appears to never be enough time to fit it all in. Timetables, meeting schedules, classes, supervision rosters, a to-do list, interruptions, expectations and demands: but there is always time, even if only for a few moments, to allow a ‘walk’ to open up the possibilities of connecting, impacting and engaging.

Positive communication is an instant impact instigator. Affirmation, appreciation, acknowledgement all produce instant positive responses in others. Authentic praise is never wasted expression and it is never better delivered than in person, face to face and when least expected.

So set the goal this weekend and beyond, to take the time to walk with purpose, to walk with intent and walk so that you can speak life into others.



This word of encouragement for Christian educators was written by Dean Bennetts, and distributed in The Bridge newsletter in 2023. Dean is the CEO of Adventist Education in North New South Wales, Australia.