David Gardiner reflected on an article that he wrote back in 1995, which took a look (with a certain amount of humour) at his thoughts on the church of the future … given the year that we have experienced he was not far off the mark!
Reflection of the Week - 6 October 2020
Posted in Faith
How much walking is too much for a mature dog?
Yesterday afternoon I set out for a slow walk with our elderly dog. Slow walks with her give time for contemplation and somehow my mind turned to another slow walk with our previous dog ‘Dancer.’
Dancer was a lovable corgi who was always happy to go for walks and accompanied us to wider family gatherings. One year, after a sleepy Boxing Day we set off up the steep hill from my husband Andrew’s parents’ house at the back of Victor Harbor.
Dancer was usually ready to walk for as far and as long as we were willing — and more! But this particular evening he was sluggish and limping. We examined his paws under a street lamp. There were even some little raw patches which puzzled us.
Back at the house we asked if anyone had taken Dancer for a walk during the day. Nana Joy had taken Dancer for a ‘longish’ walk while everyone had been napping in the afternoon; we all knew how long that could have been! Andrew's sister, known for her brisk walking speed, had taken Dancer on a four kilometre walk down to the beach and back. Pop suddenly looked up from his crossword … ‘He came with me down to the main street before breakfast when I went to get the paper,’ he said.
Even for an eager corgi, four walks totalling over ten kilometres on one summer’s day was a bit too much! Spread out over two days he would have easily managed it – and been ready for the next one!
I wonder how often we feel like there is too much happening at the one time and we want to say ‘stop!’ It can be easy to be torn by the different areas of our life and feel overwhelmed. Expectations in the workplace, commitments to family or to our faith community can all pull us in different directions – especially if they are all very important.
Let’s face it, there are on-going changes happening around us and sometimes there is a lot which must be done. Some days though, we might need to go slowly, like an old dog and identify the priorities to focus on.
Perhaps all that walking doesn’t have to be done in the one day.
Go in faith,
For there is God,
striding on into the city,
walking strongly into the bush.
The world awaits our coming,
groaning in labour pain,
waiting for the birth
and the emergence of the children of God.
It waits in weeping for freedom from oppression.
It waits in grieving for justice and peace.
It waits in humble longing for a new heaven and a new earth.
So, go in faith
and may God the Creator
hold the ground firm under your feet,
God in Christ walk before you on the way
and God the Spirit be a cloud of grace around you. Amen.
(1993 Mission Prayer Handbook – Day 31)
More from Faith
What do I make of Jesus’ instructions regarding responsible stewardship? I meet my obligations. I pay my taxes, and pay for my utilities by the due date. I place my tithed offering in the collection plate each Sunday. I wonder what else I should be doing?
Jesus invites himself to my house because, as he said in Luke 19:10, ‘the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’