8th October 2013

Keep on Walking 

“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love him.’”
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

My two dogs love their daily walk. About three3 times a week I take them on a walk with a few different surfaces. Our house is in a cul-de–sac which has no pavement. So the first 300 yards are on a smooth tarmac road, then we go across a churchyard on a mud path, over the wall which has built in stone steps, then across three small fields which are grass or mud depending on the season. 

At the end of the third field, when we have done about half a mile, we go into a wood alongside a river, where a local charity has created a path from crushed stones or chippings. The path goes up and down, sometimes almost level with the river, at other times about 100 feet, or 30 metres, above it. The charity has built in steps, where needed, so it’s a fairly easy walk. After about half a mile on the chippings we go into another field, which again is grass or mud that takes us to a stone beach where the dogs can have a drink and a splash about in the river. 

We then retrace our steps, but sometimes when we come out of the churchyard we go down to the main road. Then walk along the pavement before taking another stony path which brings us back into our road, but further along past our house—so we finish on a nice smooth bit of tarmac. It’s about a 3 mile round trip and the dogs enjoy every step of the way. 

It’s interesting that whatever surface they are walking on the dogs bound along happily.  It struck me recently that there is a lesson in this for us as Christians.  Sometimes we walk on a nice smooth path and everything in our world is fine and we enjoy every step. Sometimes the surface changes and the path gets harder so we feel a lot less comfortable but we cope just fine. Then we find the surface has become hard and stony giving us a difficult walk—maybe a death in the family, a serious illness, a trial at work or we fall out with a friend. Whatever the cause, our Christian walk seems to have become hard and troublesome. All our doubts and fears surface and we face the temptation of giving up or turning back. But then suddenly, although maybe after a long time, the surface changes and the walk becomes a lot easier again, maybe a bit muddy for a while but then back onto nice smooth tarmac again. 

How do we react to the different circumstances in our lives? Do we, like my dogs, just bound along happy no matter what surface we are walking on? Do we truly find that Christ’s yoke is easy and the burden is light as it tells us in Matthew 11:28-30? 

Whatever path we are walking on today, smooth or hard and stony, is our head held high? Are we fully focused on Christ and what awaits us at the end of the walk? That focus enables us to take the rough with the smooth and keep on walking. Whatever mental image we may have of the future, as the scripture above tells us, not only is it far better than anything we can imagine but it truly will be beyond our wildest dreams. 

Father, help us to enjoy and appreciate the good times, to endure and focus on Christ and the future in the tough times, knowing that Christ has done it all for us and is with us every step of the way.

Study by Keith Hartrick


 keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com

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