I’m waiting to find out whether my tutors have any objections to my spending the Summer walking across Britain, between cathedrals. And to be honest, I’m kind of hoping they will come back and say that after prayerful consideration they think it’s a terrible idea and that I should abandon it.

It’s not that I think it’s a bad idea, just that a variety of small, feeble niggles are beginning to put me off the epic notion, and I’m hoping, in a slothful way, to be vetoed… even as I write this though, I feel slightly ashamed -let me tell you about the niggles…

  • Niggle number 1... my right knee hurts a teensy bit, I really do mean ‘teensy’, in that it only hurts if I think about it, and even then it can only muster a minute twinge: when allowed to bloom, this niggle translates into a vision of me angrily hobbling on crutches round England and sending off for complicated knee supports. In fact, I know that it is probably because I am more than a stone overweight, and my joints would really like to have less to carry about -I know from experience that this knee has niggled before, and then improved when I walked more and weighed less.
  • Niggle number 2… I think the idea of walking around without knowing quite why looks foolish… but even as I type this, I am embarrassed and angered at myself, because time out to pray, and to do something with no earthly reason, but only perhaps a heavenly one, is only foolish when seen with entirely earthly eyes, and I suspect that in fact it has more to do with niggle number 3:
  • Niggle number 3… I am naturally lazy, and do not fancy a long tiring project, I’d rather lounge on a beach and read books… (they could be useful books if necessary… like theology books, that’d make it okay wouldn’t it?) Would it? Because you see, it’s actually a lot easier just to talk about God, and to actually do things that look sensible in the world’s eyes, like helping the poor and campaigning for the environment; than it is to live according to God’s will, and do things that might look foolish.
  • Niggle number 4… surely there is something more useful I could do with my time? Couldn’t I raise money for something, or work in a soup kitchen, or build a homeless shelter… people everywhere need help, why on earth should I spend my time doing this ‘pointless’ act?… But you see that is a human-centred view… the same view that might ask ‘why bother singing to God? why not get out of the church and do something for the benefit of mankind?’… That humanist vision would ultimately exhale every last breath of the Spirit in the effort to improve life on earth, and still fail the majority of the oppressed… when in fact we have a hope in heaven that is shared regardless of circumstances. It’s not that I don’t have a heart for the poor and needy -I really DO… but only because I have a heart for God, first.
  • Niggle number 5… I might not be able to see as much of my husband and daughter for two months, as I would normally do. Forget the fact that my husband supports the idea, and that he and my daughter can spend a blissfully happy time with both sets of grandparents by the seaside, which will do them no end of good -their holidays are safe! Forget the fact that he intends to come on short parts of the walk which he has chosen, and to meet up, bringing my daughter, on the Sabbath rest days… still, it boils down to cowardice on my part, laziness and a touch of envy…
  • Niggle number 6… aside from the strong sense that I’m supposed to do it, there is no logical reason why I should, and no information about what I am doing it for… I don’t know what God is getting at, and I’m not even certain (is one ever certain?) that it’s his idea…

Still if it is NOT, and the idea is from elsewhere, then I pray that my emminently sensible tutors will spot that, and stop me -thank heavens I rely upon obedience when in doubt, because if they  call a halt… I will get to do the easy, lazy, earthly, human, cowardly thing… and not feel guilty… will I?


About Jemma

Learning to be both a priest and a human being in the Anglican Church
This entry was posted in Planning the Pilgrimage, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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