‘Go for a walk with God’ was the instruction for this first day’s inspiration. Great idea, I thought, but today is pretty well planned out in advance: for the first time in years, I’ve got to work on a Saturday, then my husband has booked a shopping trip, meal, and cinema tickets. By the time we’re finished, it’ll be late and dark and not safe to go out for a walk – even with God.
As it turns out, our plans didn’t quite go, well, according to plan. After over an hour in a traffic jam, we abandoned the idea of shopping and made our way to a pub next to the cinema. Our anticipated long, leisurely meal and drinks were curtailed by the table being booked out as soon as we’d finished eating. It was too early to sit around in a cinema lobby.
‘Let’s go for a walk’, said my beloved. ‘There’s a path by the River Lodden between the pub and the cinema’.
So we did. Along a narrow gravelled strip between river and car park, under a Victorian railway bridge, past some bulldozers and fenced off building work, under a motorway bridge covered in graffiti, then eventually a short stroll past current-combed reeds with a glimpse of expensive and expansive lawned homes on the opposite bank – until the rain became too heavy and the way too muddy to go on. Our walk lasted 20 minutes at most.
But it was still lovely. It was somewhere new to explore. It gave us ideas of walks for the future. We talked. None of the rain or the mud or the less than picturesque setting mattered. I was with him, doing something together.
So I didn’t go for a walk with God as instructed. I went for a walk with my husband, which was and who is a gift from God. And maybe a walk with him isn’t so different from a walk with God. Being together, doing something together, having that awareness of each other – isn’t that what matters, whether it’s with my beloved or my Lord?
Or perhaps I have to rethink this altogether. 1 John 4.16 says:
‘God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.’
And in Matthew 28.20, Jesus says:
‘Remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.’
Maybe I went for a walk with God after all.