By ALI BAKER
Friday 04 December 2020
Although the current circumstances are challenging and, like most of us, I have had my ups and downs throughout both lockdowns, one of the really positive things for me has been the time to take a daily walk. And I have managed to do this, come rain or shine, pretty much every single day since the start of the first lockdown in March. Some days we might walk for 30 or 40 minutes; some days (mostly when the weather is beautiful!), we find ourselves surprised that we’ve been out for a couple of hours; some days a walk is shoe-horned in and might be for just 10 minutes. Most days we leave the house and head up to the farmer’s fields at the back of our house and see where it takes us; other days, (when restrictions are not so severe), we get in the car and head for Derbyshire.
There are many benefits I get from my daily walk, not least a chance to enjoy the Lord’s creation, the opportunity to experience some quiet calm and some time to reflect on life. I fully intend to continue with my daily walk in some shape or form once I’m back at work again, and am hopeful ‘real life’ doesn’t take over.
But I’m aware as I say this, it’s all too easy to slip back into ‘normal’ life and all that it brings. I wonder how many others are thinking similar thoughts? Several times now I have seen this quote…'In the rush to get back to normal, it’s worth considering which parts of ‘normal’ are worth rushing back to’. Too true.
Which leads me to think, am I living the life God intended for me?
Did He want me to live a rushed and busy life, with barely any time to pause and reflect? I don’t think so.
Right from the very beginning of creation, God identified a day of rest, the Sabbath. I understand that the Hebrew origins of the word ‘sabbath’ come from ‘to cease from busyness’. What a lovely gift!
I’m sure that God, in all his powerfulness, did not need a day of rest, but was setting the pattern, right from the very beginning, of what He intended for us. We need time to pause, to reflect, to restore and to be with Him, a chance to reconsider whether we are walking in His way. We need stillness - mentally and physically - in our lives.
And there are many passages in the Bible encouraging us to rest, to find stillness and to pause in our daily and weekly activities. Here are just a few…
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5
So, whilst I know I’m very unlikely to take a true Sabbath every week, (I will still need to do those household chores and attend to the needs of my family), much less sit still, at least for the time being, I am going to try to make time every day for my walk and so I get a little slice of peace and calm to reconnect with God.