I have just come back from a well overdue holiday break. Five days of extensive walking with friends in the Hereford countryside averaging seven or eight miles a day. I am always apprehensive when returning from long breaks as the emails build up and it takes time to process them, an activity which usually takes the best part of a week. Thankfully on this occasion the parishioners and my business clients where kind to me and only left me with 250 unanswered messages. Thank you all.
However, the email story doesn't finish here because the first email that I opened on my first processing session was from our church singing star Anna Taylor. Over the lockdown period Anna has been exercising her time providing us with top quality hymns and songs when she is not carrying out her pot washing duties at the Crown Public House. If you had attended the Beer and Bands festival a few weeks ago in the Crown you would have heard Anna entertain the crowds on Sunday afternoon.
Her email to me included a You tube video that she had arranged in conjunction with husband Richard and video expert Rob Foulkes. It brought me back to church activities in the best way possible, through worship. You can hear and see the video for yourself if you paste it into your browser https://youtu.be/b9rf5n7Xp5c.
Well back to the walking holiday just for a bit because walking in new paths is a bit like walking in faith. Sometimes we get lost and even though we have map and compass. When you travel with a group there is always debate on where we are and where we are going. Sometimes we are not certain of where we are so how can we know the way forward.
Sometimes we can come across issues that concern us. On our walk it was a field of heifers and bullocks blocking our route. Who will be the brave one to go first into the field of potential hurt.
Sometimes on a walk we can't see the person whose on the journey with us, not because they are too far ahead but in our case the undergrowth was too thick, ferns and dense bracken six foot high.
In all these walking scenarios someone needs to take the lead be assertive and confident and step out into potential danger. Thankfully for us we had a diverse range of skills to overcome all the uncertainties of the journey and interesting enough different people took up the varying challenges that came our way. A farming colleague got us through the cattle issue, an old queen scout with a GPS device assured us of our exact position and a tree climbing expert spotted the lost colleague in the dense undergrowth.
Walking in faith is a bit like walking new paths but the person who solves all our problems of faith is usually the same one. Jesus is the solution to all our concerns; we just need to trust in Him. The bible is our roadmap unto the right path and prayer is our permanent compass which keeps us focused on the way ahead.
So, as we start to enter this busy period of church life with Harvest, All Souls, Remembrance and the run up to Christmas not so far ahead. Let's keep focused on Him and all will be well on our journey of life.