During our recent holiday, Kathryn and I stayed for a few days in N Wales where we did a lot of walking and a little hill climbing. It was a good restful time and gave an opportunity to reflect on what we are doing, how things are going and what aims and goals we have as we look to the future. Taking time out from the usual routine and general busyness of life is refreshing physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I find when I am away from all the usual work-related business there are certain things I do almost subconsciously: I stop wearing a watch, I leave my diary in a drawer, I refuse to plan for tomorrow or further ahead than today. One consequence of all this is my prayers change; they become more relaxed, I have time to sit, reflect and think of nothing. It is amazing how many insights and ideas I have when I sit quietly and think of nothing.
During a walk along the Welsh coast, we climbed one of the many Welsh hills. It wasn’t particularly high but from the top, we could look out over Llandudno, along the coast, across the bay to Rhyl: the view on a clear sunny day was wonderful and exhilarating. Every time I climb whether in Wales, the Lake District, anywhere I am reminded of those occasions when we are told Jesus went up a mountain to pray, or when he took his disciples up a mountain away from the crowds.
I think the only people who would ask why Jesus would go up a mountain to pray are probably the people who have never tried it. Getting away, getting up high changes our perspective, changes how we see, how we relate to God. Somehow it seems easier and clearer. For me, it doesn’t work from the top of a high building.
Looking out over a landscape at trees, bushes, flowers, the clouds, looking down on birds as they fly by; wonderful! Then a humbling, staggering, almost unbelievable awareness that the One who created all that I see, the One who sustains everything in the universe wants to talk to me: AND wants me to talk to Him. Prayer is God’s idea for building our relationship with Him. God wants us to spend time with Him.
What a God!