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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

A Good Walk

Walking is good for the heart. It’s good for the mind. It’s good for building strength. And it’s good for the soul.

So it’s a very fitting way to start the day with God, loving him with all my heart, mind, strength and soul. I don’t know why it is such an effort to fit it in. Or maybe I do.

I am just back from a brisk walk which, since dear Dusty’s demise, I have to put on my To Do list if there’s any chance of me actually doing it. Pathetic.

As I headed for home, aware of my divine companion, the phrase which has come to have a lot of meaning for me of late came to mind again. Life is all about walking each other home. 

Today is the first day of school in our part of the world, and there are messages on Facebook revealing some broken-hearted mums, who have grown accustomed to that little hand clutched in theirs, having to drop the grip at the school gate and use that same hand to wave the wee kid off for her first day. Walking someone home requires some separations. Some tears. Reading the posts brought tears of remembrance to my eyes.

My mother’s nickname for me growing up was her ‘little shadow’. Being the younger of the two sisters, I was the last to be waved off on the first day of kindergarten. We have laughed over the last forty years of how long that shadow has grown, since I moved to Scotland. Laughter tinged with sorrow.

Now that she is 91, I am now very conscious that I am walking her home. Role reversal, and yet not, because I am aware that many of my reactions and thoughts were instilled in me by her fine example over so many years. We are very much walking each other home.

Mary must have been nearly paralysed with the enormity of her job description: to walk the Son of God home. From cradle to death. Who is up to such a thing?

She didn’t do it without help. None of us do it without help. We don't have to be raising the Son of God to feel inadequate for the task. But God is always there, a very present help in time of trouble, as Scripture says. When we pause perplexed at a fork in the road, he is there with us, encouraging, guiding, strengthening us for the next leg of the journey.

Mom and I are definitely walking each other home on a road less travelled, and yet, a road familiar to all of us. A road rutted with heartaches and disappointments, a road which seems to shrink to a path before disappearing altogether sometimes, leaving us feeling lost and forlorn. 

But Jesus is there. His promise is that he is always with us and will never forsake us. Even when we navigate the valleys of the shadow of death, he’s there, chilling the fizz ready to celebrate us when we come out the other side. 

Life is a journey, it is often said. And it is a journey best travelled on foot, at a pace which allows for meditative thoughts and openness to God’s still, small voice.

Enjoy your walk today.

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