Seeing far enough ahead

I enjoyed a walk around the Sutton Salt Lake on Sunday.

We’d done an airport drop off and decided to keep heading west, to Middlemarch.
After lunch and a wander of the street/s, we stopped off at the salt lake.

We had visited once before.
As I led the way (a little briskly due to the promise of rain – both in the sky and forecast),
I remembered the sensation from our last visit:
of not knowing where I was going to end up.
The landscape appeared flat, yet there are also moments when you seem to be approaching a crest.
Surely, the lake will appear at some stage.

Also, looking ahead, it wasn’t always obvious where the path was.
But, if I kept looking into the shorter distance, there was always a clear way through the next part
– and that clarity was consistently present before me as I kept walking.

Life can be a bit like that, right?

We can have a sense of what our destination is,
and see a little part of the way forward,
but we don’t need to be able to see the whole track.
And that is OK. Normal.

I could have stood, debilitated, scanning the horizon, trying to see where the distant path was.
But there was no need.
All I needed to do was to follow the trail before me.
The rest was revealed as it needed to be.

The lake eventually appeared.
Was appreciated. Briskly (that potential rain, again).
The sounds of a family playing in and near the water.

And a continuation of the trail that led me back to the car.

It worked for a walk.
Why? Because there was somewhere I was going (or at least, I had a sense that there was a recommended destination ahead: in truth, the first time I visited, I had little idea of what that destination would look like).
There was a path that led me there.
I followed it.

It seems it might work for life too.
We have an idea of where we are going.
We take steps to get there, trusting that the path before us will continue to be revealed.


Lynne is Jack Somerville Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at Otago University; Director and Researcher for AngelWings Ltd; and, most importantly, wife-of-Steve; mumma of Shannon and Kayli; and daughter, sister, friend, aunt (and other essential relational connections). She’s passionate about helping people discover and grow in relationship with God. Also coffee. And creativity. And sunrises. Beaches. All sorts of good things.


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