Today I went for a walk. It has become a regular part of my day over the past few weeks. In fact, today was my 22nd consecutive day of afternoon walks! My son, Calvin, always comes with me. I think at the beginning he just agreed to come in an attempt to stop me from trying to make him do maths, but now he really seems to enjoy our hour or two outside. We don’t have to walk very far from our house to feel like we are in the countryside and away from noise and traffic. Today there was a cool wind, but the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful clear blue. It feels like we are watching spring unfolding before us. Even though we walk a similar route every day, the world around us is ever-changing. Trees are becoming greener, flowers are appearing, butterflies, bees and birds dart around us. The sun feels warmer and my thoughts become clearer. I feel a sense of calm and well-being.
I like to walk somewhere I can have a view, to remind myself of the vastness and beauty of the world God created. One of my favourite poems is ‘The Peace of Wild Things’ by Wendell Berry. I believe he was right when he wrote about the power of nature and its ability to bring comfort and perspective. We live in a noisy world. We are expected to be busy and productive. Our schedules are full and we feel obliged to be available all the time. Right now we have this opportunity to slow down and connect with the people close to us. Teenagers are often not particularly forthcoming and I am really enjoying the conversations I have with Calvin while out walking. Whether they are about Dr Who, the Marvel Universe or something deeper, I feel privileged to be allowed to share some of his thoughts and I hope our relationship will be strengthened.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us not to worry but instead to rely on Him. Wherever we go or whatever we do to remind us of God’s presence, I think it is important to make time for that, and that time will leave us feeling refreshed and more able to cope with the things that life will inevitably throw at us.