I am writing a daily blog (Monday to Friday) on preparing spiritually and physically
to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.
for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotwold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page
WEEK FIVE DAY ONE
It’s difficult to do something without a focus, a goal, an end-in-sight.
Or it is if you are me.
Walking miles for no reason with no companions and nowhere in particular to aim for is not something I enjoy.
And attempting the goal is easier the nearer it becomes – there’s still eleven weeks until the Pilgrimage: plenty of time, I tell myself!
So I was looking forward to the 60th birthday celebration for my brother-in-law on June 16: an 8 mile circular walk in north Devon, with a pub lunch half way. Only my husband’s indefatigable brother could have persuaded family and friends to join him on such an expedition – even with the promise of a champagne tea at the end.
Alas, it was not to be part of our Saturday.
My husband has pleurisy and is confined to total rest.
As it was cold, wet and windy in Devon, his brother - who is a doctor - told him in no uncertain terms not to go. So we didn’t. I offered to go alone but the long long drive there and back by myself in foul motorway conditions did not bode well – and my husband did not need a long day alone either.
But I really did want to walk. Our local weather was not too bad. And an hour or two of walking each side of lunch would be great practice for the Pilgrimage.
I needed a goal, a focus.
I found it in the aforesaid pub lunch – only at a different pub. An hour and a half to walk across the fields to a local favourite pub, and an hour and a half back.
Especially when the husband said he felt he could drive the 15 minutes it takes by car – we could meet for a date!
And so I had not one but two purposes: a good walk to get to lunch -and a date with my beloved.
With such purposes, I found myself striding out, walking fast, aiming for the goal.
It worked: I was there early. Plenty of time for a glass of wine, petting all the resident dogs including the new 12 week old spaniel puppy (envy envy) and reading the paper.
Unhurried lunch, time to talk, to BE, to be together.
And then a brisk walk back – uphill most of the way but inspired this time by the thought of tea and finishing the excellent book I was reading.
A purpose or two, a goal, an end-in-sight.
That inspires me to do what otherwise I might not attempt.
And inevitably it reminds me of my ultimate goal, which I find so easy to forget is ahead of me:
Running toward the Goal
12 I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. 13 My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. 14 I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. 15 All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you. 16 But we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed.
Philippians 3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
What do YOU need a goal for? Where are you headed? What helps to focus on it?