I found the last Bible study (looking at the way we need our thinking to be renewed) to be deeply challenging and the part about making new pathways for our neurons to follow became even more relevant to me during the past week as I have been on an outdoor pursuit residential trip with the Senior department at my school.

Outdoor pursuits are not my thing at all. But there were definite pluses to the trip, namely staying at the beautiful Christian Guild hotel Willersley Castle in Cromford, Derbyshire.

… with views like this to ponder each day:

… and meals in this exquisitely beautiful dining room:

(If you’re looking for a holiday hotel, I can’t recommned this one highly enough; the Christian staff are so welcoming and helpful and the accommodation and surroundings are beyond compare.)

But back on topic: the reason I was reminded of the Bible study was that on some of the hikes through the Peak District National Park, there seemed to be no paths at all to follow! We were led (thankfully!) by experienced guides who knew the way, which was just as well, because on some paths, I seriously wondered how these could have got the name ‘public highway’! I came back with scratches over my arms and legs from bushes that were definitely in the way of the path I was treading! A number of us were nettled and had to use dock leaves to soothe our irritated skin. The paths we were walking were not all wide and easy by any meaans; the terrain at times was rough. On the first night, we did a ‘night walk’ and came back down a very steep slope in the pitch black with just a few torches to give us light. We had to tread carefully to avoid stumbling and falling. I have no photos of those treks, largely because I was concentrating so hard on staying upright that there was absolutely no way I was messing around in my rucksack getting a camera out to record these experiences! I was too concerned about not falling and injuring myself when I was supposedly responsible for teenagers (most of whom were like gazelle, bounding about with a carefree abandon I found bewildering!)

Some parts of these hikes were hard work and challenging (and I was gratified to see young, fit people puffing and panting up some of the hills we climbed, reassuring me that it was the incline and not my lack of fitness which was making this hard work!) Thinking God’s thoughts is not always an easy path to tread. We have to ‘unlearn’ our old patterns of thinking and for many of us, after a lifetime of being washed in the world’s way of doing things and thinking, it is not easy to tread a new path. We have to be constantly vigilant because there are obstacles en route which would cause us to stumble. Hebrews 12:12-13 TNIV says ‘Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,”so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.’ Thankfully, there is strength and healing in the Lord for those of us who need level paths for our feet!