This Month's Message

Harpley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life is my Message." Mahatma Gandhi

Revd. Jane Holmes

Team Rector

                                                                            

 

 

October 2018

The Path of Life

As many of you will know I returned to the parishes recently after taking a three month sabbatical during the summer – and what a summer we had!  Blue skies and hot sunshine with no rain for weeks on end!  I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you were able to get outside and enjoy it too.

During my time away I embarked on a number of pilgrimages, walking long distances through some of the more wild and wonderful areas of the British countryside.

On one of my journeys I walked alone for three days through the Peak District.  It was a profound experience walking alone with God day after day in the hills and valleys of Derbyshire.  As I walked I found myself reflecting upon the path ahead of me and comparing it with the path of life.

Sometimes the way ahead was rough, rocky, steep and exhausting!  The path could be narrow – clearly no other way to go - but at other times I faced a broad expanse of hillside and there seemed to be no clear path or direction.  There were definitely times I felt lost and I was grateful then to come across a way-marker confirming I was headed in the right direction.  At times I was also relieved when the way took me into the shade of cool wooded areas with a refreshing river flowing alongside and the way was easy, clear, comfortable and very enjoyable.

Whatever my thoughts along this varied journey it brought me to reflect that our lives are very similar.  Sometimes life is an absolute joy, the going is easy, we know where we are heading, we have a clear map or plan for our lives.  But it’s true for all of us that there are also times in our lives when, along the way, we will encounter difficulties, hardship, we will all endure times of great pain.  We can feel lost, lonely and afraid and we can’t see a way ahead. It’s then that we are grateful when friends, family, or indeed strangers, come alongside to offer support, comfort and love to bring us what relief they can and to help us along the path we must tread.

The great thing is that I knew, as I walked and pondered these things, that I wasn’t actually alone on my journey.  God was with me every step of the way – as he is in life – if only we open our hearts to his love.  I believe with all my heart that is what God desires for all of us; that we hold him close in our hearts, for it is there that, in our darkest times and our deepest sorrow, we can draw comfort and strength from the depths of his love and care for us.  And when life is good? Well, my experience, and I know that of many others amongst us, is that when our way is clear and smooth and bountiful there is no greater delight than being able to rejoice with Him, our loving Father.  As we sing songs of praises our hearts too sing for joy.

A great summer, some great walks, many great memories to treasure and a closeness with God in my heart that I will cherish always.

Still, it is good to be back!

Much love

Revd Jane

 


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