We’re fortunate to be able to step out of our doors and be surrounded by the most fantastic scenery here in Derbyshire. So last Sunday we made the most of it and left the bandstand to take a walk. It wasn’t too challenging (or too long), and offered a lots of variety in a relatively short distance. We walked down country lanes, sat by a mill pond, climbed up through a wood and stood out on the edge of an amazing vista. We shared ‘virtual’ bread and wine (because we left it at home by mistake!) but somehow it didn’t seem to matter – God was with us, around us and in us. Along the way, as we walked, we took the following words as a prompt for prayer and meditation, and the autumn-tinged places we walked through, joined in the conversation.
“Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts.
It is, rather, a stance, a way of being present. All spiritual disciplines have one purpose: to get rid of illusions so we can be present” Richard Rohr
By the mill pond
God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction. (Psalm 23)
A song of ascent – (for the climb up)
O Lord my heart is not lifted up/My eyes are not raised too high;/I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,/Like a weaned child with its mother;/My soul is like the weaned child that is with me./O Israel, hope in the Lord/From this time and for evermore (Psalm 131)
Seeing the woods and the trees? (Through the woods.)
“What you look for determines what you see. What you focus on determines what you miss. The way you see determines what you are blind to, and what you render invisible. “ Brian McLaren
When he had come near, Jesus asked, “What do you want from me?”He said, “Master, I want to see again.” (Luke 18)
On the edge.
On the edge is where we can see more widely and more clearly. It opens our eyes to the bigger expanse, the view. But it can be an unknown, frightening place where the secure world drops away from us. Individuals, communities and countries are on the edge.
What do we pray?
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”