Berginski: Walk on, Mr. Montgomery, walk on
We at the Berginski household had ourselves a visitor on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t that jolly home invader that likes to sneak in through the chimney while everyone’s asleep. It wasn’t my grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. It was a man who is literally walking around the country.
My mom met 63-year-old Mt. Shasta, Calif., native Randy Montgomery when he came into her shop. Montgomery is a “circle maker”, he is walking the entire perimeter of the United States on a prayer circle of sorts. He arrived in Rugby the day before and slept in a tent at the fairgrounds. Being the kind-hearted, generous woman my mom is, she invited him into our house – well I should say the house across the street, but we own it, so technically it is our house. He went to our church for Christmas Eve service. (I was at home, sick, so I missed it.) He dined with us, talked of the life he had before he started his walk. He had a nice house in California as well as a log truck, both of which he left.
Montgomery started his walk on July 1 in California. He was inspired by a book called, “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. The book describes Honi, a first century Jewish sage, who drew a circle in sand, stood in it and refused to leave it until God answered his prayers for rain. Batterson himself walked in a four-block prayer circle on top of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and later formed a church in that stretch.
“I read that and I thought, I’m not a man with good book sense, but I have good common sense,” Montgomery said. “I closed the book and said, ‘Man, I’m gonna do one around the United States. If that man could do one to create his church, then I want to do one to create beautiful things inside the United States.”
Montgomery said his walk – which is just over 14,000 miles – will take at least five years to complete. In the six months since his walk began, a website was formed in which people can buy shirts or donate money to the cause. Montgomery has used some of that money to buy a tent, a coat, and a sleeping bag that can take temperature extremes of close to fifty below, as well. His walk has been, as he said, to inspire acts of kindness and friendship in others, and he has been seeing a ripple effect.
“It’s amazing how many kind people are in this world. It’s unbelievable how many have come forward and are inspired by what I’m doing. I’m inspiring them and they’re inspiring me,” Montgomery said.
If that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is.
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