It’s early because we head south tomorrow and tomorrow evening we will be holed up in a Travel lodge watching the football! But I’ve been thinking about this all week so I’m interested to see where it goes, as I never know what I’m going to write until I write it.
We are staying in a lovely house in North Skye, a view of the loch, with 3 acres of land that run onto the foreshore. A smaller area is fenced off around the house. Beautiful! And there are many signs to say that you should keep the gates, top and bottom closed, but when we arrived, we already had a sheep and her lamb living in the garden. We tried ever so hard to herd her out into the open grazing but with just the two of us she kept slipping past, either not seeing or not wanting to go through the gate. After a while we decided she looked distressed and gave up. Not sure what a distressed sheep looks like as her expression didn’t actually change, but all the same I think she was cross! Anyway, after a few days of leaving them alone we had another go and joy of joys we managed to get her through the bottom gate and out onto the open land. We were so pleased with ourselves. The next day we had a long but beautiful excursion to Talisker Bay and then onto a walk up past the Fairy Pools under the Cuillin Mountains. Spectacular. We came home very tired to find that the top gate was open, I obviously hadn’t closed it properly, and now we had nine sheep enjoying the delights of the garden. I was so cross with myself. Now, the funny thing about sheep is that the more there are the easier it is to herd them. We quickly got four out through the bottom gate. Then another 3 out through the top, so we only had a mum and her lamb left. I thought that was that, that going on our previous experience we didn’t have a hope of setting her free, except very quickly she ran down the road and followed the others through the bottom gate. We didn’t have to do a thing, except cheer, and feel pleased with ourselves..
It made me think. Sometimes it’s so much easier to follow those who have gone before. Now I know you need to be careful what footsteps you follow in, but it was a sheep following a sheep!
I confess to having been a bit lack lustre with my time with God over the last few months, that I’ve become satisfied with a few minutes prayer in the mornings with Mike. Holidays highlight things and the dryness of my heart became very apparent. Lucky (!) for me, Mike bought a copy of Julian of Norwich’s book, Revelations of Divine Love while browsing in a bookshop in a railway station!!!! Holiday space has meant time to delve into it, time to think about it, time to follow in the footsteps of this incredible woman. So through the gate I go, feeling God fill me back up a little at a time. From the book: God created us, loves us and sustains us… He works in secret yet he wills to be seen… No created being can know the greatness, the sweetness, the tenderness of the love that our Maker has for us. By his grace, therefore, let us stand and gaze at the supreme, surpassing, single-minded, incalculable love that God, who is goodness has for us.
And that’s just for starters.