Walking can be therapeutic especially when you are walking with a group. This is what I found when we did the Christian Aid sponsored walk. It was very enjoyable.
There was something about Wesley Hall and Forest Hill joining together to do something that would benefit disadvantaged people that was very inspiring. However, the benefits were greater than the objective.
The walk itself was very well planned, was flat and interesting. We found ourselves on the road to Beckenham going through parks, the high street and allotments answering question on the way. We saw Enid Blyton’s first home and David Bowie’s concert venues in Beckenham Rec and The Three Tuns (which is now Zizzi’s). I have to confess that I didn’t finish the quiz because I was too busy talking to people and the time went very quickly.
I barely noticed the six point one miles we walked altogether. Some of our number ended up taking a bit of a detour and walked more like eight miles! But in the end everyone made it back to Wesley Hall safely to be greeted by a very welcome hot drink and very good cakes – delicious.
I don’t yet know how much we raised for Christian Aid, but it was definitely worth doing and I’d like to thank Steve and Ramesh for organising the event for the 30 or so people who walked – including children, dogs and Betty, who was pushed along, thoroughly enjoying the ride. A big thank you is reserved for the people who organised the coffee morning. However It wouldn’t have been the same if no one had sponsored us. Thank you all very much for your generous contributions and for supporting our efforts.
There is something very companionable about walking together, getting to know new people or reacquainting ourselves with old friends and people we don’t get to see very often. Sharing our lives and experiences with each other builds up our relationships which of course is a very important part of church life but also a part of life in general.
Jesus offers us an invitation and a challenge to walk with him and follow in his footsteps to reach the goal.
I was fascinated while watching a nature program a couple of weeks ago. The subject was a type of deer called Caribou which live in the frozen north of Alaska and Canada. I suppose you would look at them and what you would see is a large deer with antlers but could easily miss an important part of their lives. When you get to know migration habits it is hard not to be amazed. Each year they follow in their ancestors’ footsteps and make a great journey to their Birthing Grounds. Over 100,000 animals make this long journey. They single-mindedly head for this fertile area, a journey of over 500 km – instinct drives them on through different environments. A particularly difficult area is covered in deep snow which was proved exhausting to walk across. However, they have a method of making this easier. They take it in turns to lead the herd creating a path and the rest of the herd follows in his footsteps. They work together to ease the way.
Their mission is dangerous; they have grizzly bears and wolves to contend with, as well as the difficult environment. But they go on travelling in ever increasing groups as one group joins another.
Why do they go through this difficult trek each year? Why do all the females give birth within a couple of days of each other? Because living there is a very special plant which gives strength to the females and rich milk for their young. They walk together in groups for protection and leadership to reach the end of their pilgrimage.
Jesus walked with his disciples in the same way that his Spirit walks with us. Walking in His footsteps, walking together, talking together, using our instincts to reach our goal. Our sense of direction may let us down sometimes, we may take a bit longer to get there but there’s a big cheer when we arrive.
Jesus goes before us, as Stephen and Ramesh went before us, planning the route and then walking with us.
So well done everyone.