THE PATH LESS TRODDEN

THE PATH LESS TRODDEN

UPPER BEEDING to DITCHLING

Twinning, toilets & what else? How can a church be hospitable to others through things like twinning? Can we do something? What do I do with this? Can I challenge churches to examine the condition of their hospitality? A space – always available. A shed or a room. Could churches come together to fund the settlement of a family in need?

Extract from Reflections Journal – Friday 18th August 2017

 

My route from Upper Beeding to Ditchling took me through the small community of Pyecombe. On the route of the South Downs Way the church here has welcomed pilgrims for more than 800 years. From at least as early as 1230AD weary pilgrims have found rest for body and soul in this place. Today a recent extension to the church provides both kitchen and toilet (A twinned toilet) facilities to the traveller. Tea, coffee, cold drinks and cake is available free of charge to anybody who finds refuge here.

One of my favourite poems is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Journeying – We all have to make our own journey. There may be times when we can follow in the footsteps of others for a while and find some comfort in knowing that others have been this way before us, yet there will always come a time when we have to step out on a new path – the path that God has set out just for us.

Following Jesus will mean not only taking the road less travelled, or the path less trodden, but also mean making a path where there isn’t yet one. So far on my walk, with somewhere around 400 miles already done and another 150 miles remaining, I have walked on well defined and clear footpaths and also had to battle my way along tracks that were overgrown and almost unidentifiable. There have been a few places where the path has been blocked either by the force of nature, by accident or even intentionally, and I have had to retrace my steps and find a new way forward. The important thing has been to keep myself focused on my daily destination. Knowing exactly where I want to end up each day helps define the best route and also the alternative route. And so it is in our life journey too – Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus should be our daily priority. Writing to the church in Philippi Paul says;

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:10-14 NIV

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

 

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