As I often work on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) it is a rare thing to set aside a day for a retreat there. It’s been a good day, and I enjoyed meeting with God and my fellow retreatents and having the opportunity for some quiet.
At one point, I got to thinking about the story of Mary and Martha, and remembered Jesus words that Mary, by sitting in Jesus presence, had done “the one thing necessary, while Martha had been too busy and distracted to listen to him (although, in my view, she honoured him by caring for his needs).
As I thought further it occurred to me that although I had enjoyed the day of “stillness”, I’d actually found the stillness quite difficult…I needed some movement, and even some artwork and writing didn’t really satisfy that. Jesus sees to have appreciated that some people are more attentive when they’re moving…he often taught the disciples as they walked together from place to place, as well as sitting on mountains, in boats and by wells.
The only thing is, I also remembered a lesson learned by Peter, when Jesus invited him to go for a walk on the wave tops of a stormy sea. Walking with Jesus may be more dangerous than it sounds. And if the Emmaus story is anything to go by, Jesus often walks with me and I don’t even recognise that he’s there.
Is nothing straightforward on this pilgrim journey?