It’s getting a bit harder these days to convince the boys that they enjoy walking, although, despite all their protests, I’m pretty sure they secretly do. I’m also getting resigned to the fact that if we put up with some moaning in the first half of a walk, we will have forgotten all about it by the second half. (Otherwise why would I try to take them on a walk again?)
Yesterday we went for a walk that starting in Millington. In the small parish church there is a beautiful modern stained glass window that shows two of Jesus’ friends basically ‘doing a runner’ after the crucifixion when they meet a stranger who they don’t recognise to be Jesus himself. That walk and that conversation and especially the meal they had afterwards completely changed their perspective and their lives.
It reminded me of a book I read this summer called ‘Woo’ by Morgan Schmidt that has as its premise the idea that all of us have desires within us that ultimately lead us towards God.
In part of the book she points out that ‘the most meaningful, transformative, formational moments…are rarely planned and seldom predicted’ but are ‘… the product of intentional serendipity. They simply happen – just like we’d hoped and prayed and expected them to happen.’
I just love that phrase ‘intentional serendipity’ as if it’s a giant game of hide and seek but that God actually wants to be found. The two men walking along the road weren’t expecting to meet God there.
In the story of the Lost Son in the Bible, there’s a moment when the son who runs away is described as ‘coming to himself’. When he came to himself, he became aware that where he was wasn’t where he wanted to be (broke and feeding pigs). His own ‘wants’ led him to begin the journey home. No one had to suggest to him that it might be a good idea.
On our walk yesterday, I had to hold on to the likelihood that the complaining would eventually stop and that we would actually enjoy being together in the fresh air on a beautiful day surrounded by amazing scenery. Maybe it just took a while for us to ‘come to ourselves’. I’m beginning to realise that what we really want isn’t always as easy to pinpoint as we think. However, those moments of ‘intentional serendipity’ are there, just waiting to be seen when our eyes are open.