Dad did a lot of good things for me. A lot.
One of the best things, though, was to get me into enjoying walking. No not the rambling kind of taking a stick and needing hiking boots to walk up and down the mountain. Nah, not that kind of thing, just taking a stroll through the area we lived. If it was up to him he would walk everywhere. Having the car was a necessary inconvenience. He would walk it if he could and he loved the walking. It was among the best experiences of my life on a summer Saturday afternoon just spending time walking with my Dad.
Walks didn’t always mean talks. It could just be walking. The walking was something that Dad knew about, roughly, but I had no idea. I didn’t know where he was going and when we took certain directions I recall having looks of confusion and being bemused. So I would ask Dad where we were going and he would feel under no obligation at all to inform me. He would just tell me to keep following him and the destination would be clear in the fullness of time. Those walks would involve a variety of terrain even if it wasn’t mountain hiking. Different scenery would bless the walks. Sometimes urban, sometimes countryside. Passing other walkers, or just us on the path. He was not in a rush. He wasn’t in a race. If it was done for health reasons it wasn’t about fitness more than it was about the health in enjoying God’s planet.
Walks could however include the occasional talk. Ahhhh those walks with conversations. Those conversations that would sometimes be as winding as the walks themselves. Topics wide and diverse. Dad wouldn’t be waxing lyrical putting the world to rights, but he would contribute, make the passing comment, asking the incisive question. It wasn’t just the two of us on the walk. Sometimes my brother and even on the rare occasion my Mum and sister would join us for the walk. If it was just us males out on the walk Dad could set up something that would get my brother and I talking and rambling around in conversation almost oblivious to where Dad was taking us.
In it there was something that Dad knew about the journeys we were taking. He was assured about them without having to spell out what what was going on and those journeys would take us on so many interesting paths. I am so grateful for my Dad setting me up for life in appreciating it’s all about following the Father along paths of righteousness that He takes me on.
Reflecting on those walks and considering where I am now, I appreciate how important it is to trust that the Father knows where He’s leading us. The paths of righteousness are not supposed to be smooth – they take us through some really rough and trying places. We’re going through those places for a reason – one particular one being that it was here that the Father found us and so we can see others who need to get on this path as opposed to ones they’ve been travelling before. The variety of paths He leads us along also reflects how multi-faceted His creation is – appreciating that is appreciating Him.
Where I am at on the journey is not quite a desperately pivotal crossroads, but it is at a stage where a change of terrain is up ahead. No, that’s nothing to fear in itself, it is something to get very excited about, but it’s something to be all the more careful to follow in the footsteps of the One who leads, so I don’t stray off the path.
The Journeyman’s trails continues … Thanks Dad.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden