A Walking Prayer
In this post I talk about going outside. Make sure you always keep up to date with the latest government health advice about whether or not to go outdoors during the ongoing health crisis.
I have always held stress within my body, leading to migraine and asthma attacks. For the whole country this past week has been a rollercoaster of stress and emotion. With each day the tension and level of national stress has mounted. As a result, with each day that passes my body has become tighter and tighter. The muscles in my back and neck are knotting hard. The muscles in my chest are constraining.
With the threat of Covid-19 it is important to try and stay healthy. So, to ease my tension and to help me sleep at night, before we go into complete lockdown, my Dad and I have started to take the dogs a long evening walk. As we begin our walk we might see a lone crane flying overhead or a buzzard returning home with its supper. We start our walk in the light but as we progress the light begins to dim. As we reach the top of the hill we gaze over to the Campsies in the distance. The beauty of the setting sun colours the horizon and lifts our hearts. All around us the trees are alive with the chatter of the birds returning to nest for the evening. And oh…the cheerfulness of their noise is life giving.
As we walk both me and my Dad share our fears and worries. We marvel at the beauty of the landscape around us, a landscape touched by the hand of God. We look over at the Campsie hills again in the distance and now the darkness is caressing their peaks, enveloping them as we walk on further. In the half-light of the evening the dogs excitedly begin to pick up the scent of other creatures who are waking from their day-time slumber to exit their burrows: foxes, hedgehogs and badgers.
The smell of the air changes as the light of the day makes way for the darkness of the night. All around us the darkness takes hold. It is usually at this point that me and my Dad walk in companionable silence, each in our own walking mediation with God. Handing over the worry of the day to our Lord, giving thanks for all he provides us with. As the darkness enfolds us God walks with us, his loving arms around us. There is nothing to fear, for even in the darkness there is an abundance of life. Life is all around us in the hedgerows and in the grass, then out on the road and in the houses we pass on our journey home. And as we arrive home I find I’m relaxed and I’m at ease for God’s love, manifested in his creation, has restored and strengthened my flagging spirits.
Over the coming months as we socially distance ourselves, try and get out in the fresh air if you can, keeping a safe distance from others. As I said above it is essential to keep up to date with the latest government advice on going outside — don’t put yourself or others at risk. As you walk, take notice and feel, see, smell and hear God’s love all around you, and be comforted and rejuvenated by his Spirit.