I went walking today in the beautiful Peak District National Park, and it was lovely, I went at my own pace and chose my own route, picking my path carefully, at times I might have looked like I was going around in circles, but I am nursing an injured foot so now and then to get to where I wanted to be I retraced my footsteps until I found a way through. I suspect a film of it might be hilarious at points but I don’t care! In going walking with my poorly foot double strapped and my boots carefully laced I overcame a tendency to be self limiting and just went for it, I had been getting stressed due to various pressures that were piling up on me and simply needed to get out and an amble around the park would not do!
I went walking today, and climbing a bit, and I loved it, and that has got me thinking, I do have a tendency to be self limiting because I set myself silly targets, and because there are times when I think I need to arrive at my goals in the same way that others do. Today however I took a few paths less travelled and some odd looking double backs and detours, but I arrived, though more importantly I travelled, because if I had not made it to my goal ( the triangulation point) I don’t think I would have minded.
All of this brought me back to a conversation with a friend, who mentioned in relation to someone else that he could only carry out the task before him in his way, he had a particular way of working, and brought particular gifts to his calling and that was okay, in using them he was being the minister that he was called to be. Often I struggle to fit in, to do what is expected of me, and frankly to get it right and keep people happy, but I am not really called to do that and in the end it helps nobody. So maybe my desire to lead and minister should take on more of the pattern of my desire to climb today, picking a particular path which suited my abilities and allowed for my injury, sometimes doubling back when I realised I had gone the wrong way, and sometimes taking the less travelled path.
Today I walked and climbed and my goal was clear, in my spiritual life and with those I seek to lead the goal is to become like Christ, the path is discipleship, and that is full of twists and turns, rocks, bumps and detours, I wonder then if we might be kinder to ourselves and to one another if we chose to enjoy the journey, to use stopping places and to take in the view, looking back and forward but being in the present, owning our sore feet and being gentle with our tendency to limp….
Tomorrow I hope to take my whole self onto the path ahead, to look for signs of hope and moments of joy, and to set my eyes on the goal allowing myself to walk in my way, and to help others to walk in theirs….