I got lost today. Really, scary lost. I was lost in thought and made a wrong turn. When I realized I hadn’t seen a sign in a while, I went to what I thought was a signpost. Turned out it was an old fencepost.
I was in remote hills (no idea why they call them that. At 350 ft it is not a “hill”.) There were no sheep, no fences, no trees, no landmarks of any kind. Just hills and valleys of scrubby heather (not blooming purple yet, either) and a wide open grey sky. It was hard not to panic.
Instead I looked for familiar patterns in the brush and made my way there, almost knee-deep in the vegetation. I found the track I had been following and retraced my steps until I came to the familiar SCW symbol on a wooden post. Sure enough I had had taken the wrong path.
I looked down and saw the footprints of my two friends travelling ahead of me. I was flooded with relief. They had just been here. This was the right path.
Amazing grace: I once was lost, but then was found.
It was a hard day. Cold, rainy, huge climbs up and down. There was also bog, ankle-deep and mucky. My feet are a terrible mess of huge blisters. My hip hurts going uphill so much that I walk funny. Coming down my left knee complains so I have to shorten my gait. Most of the day my muscles were so weak I had trouble controlling them. Sometimes I looked like a drunken sailor.
You wouldn’t guess that my word today was laughter. But I really did laugh myself silly all day long.
The sheep were hilarious. Their funny expressions when I appeared in their fields, and their chorus of lambs singing, “baaa” mixed in with deep adult voices declaring, “BAAAA” struck me as funny.
Funny expressions in my head got me all day. I came out of a wooded area and into a field and without thinking said out loud, “Well, I guess I’m out of the woods now.” I sang, “What goes up, must come down, spinning wheel…” when faced with yet another climb.
Then there was the shepherd I met: he still had a crook, like in biblical times but instead of walking he drove an ATV. What cracked me up was the dog riding shotgun.
As silly as my laughter might seem, I delighted in it because it was a sign of inner truth. The hurry-up voices in my head, which normally plague me at home, are silent. My hair is wild and my clothes are muddy and it doesn’t matter at all. I am surrounded by beautiful, wide open spaces. Today I was even on top of the world, having climbed high enough to taste the clouds.
The Lord is my shepherd and I have everything I need.